Click here for previous lectures

11 May 2020POSTPONED ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING @ 19.30 followed by Russian Landscape Painting
08 June 2020POSTPONED Cleopatra
13 July 2020Street Art
14 September 2020Frederic Leighton and the Studio-Houses of the Holland Park Circle
12 October 2020Beethoven at 250 - Classical Music's Greatest Revolutionary
09 November 2020Women in Japan - Not Just a Geisha
14 December 2020Insiders/Outsiders Refugees from NaziEurope and their contribution to British Visual Culture

Click on a row and scroll to display more details about the lecture

followed by Russian Landscape Painting
Jane Angelini Monday 11 May 2020

Russian Painting is still little known outside Russia, largely because it remained behind the Iron Curtain for most of the 20th century and the subject is only just beginning to gain interest, thanks to the opening up of Russia and hence its  marvelously rich art galleries (Tretyakov in Moscow, Russian Museum in St Petersburg) and an increasing number of international exhibitions. The lecture will concentrate on one branch of the many artistic genres which flourished in Russia from the mid 19th century onwards, namely Landscape Painting.

The second half of the 19th century was a time of artistic rebellion in Russia (and across Europe) and a time when Russian painting came into its own. Some painters turned to critical realism and historical genre painting mostly criticizing Russian society, whilst those who turned to landscape painted the uplifting, often simple scenery with notes of hope and poetry. They painted the essence of the Russian land in all its spiritual glory and they did so with technical mastery that puts them on a par with European contemporaries.The poetic, almost lyrical beauty in painting was new to Russian art, however it became the symbol of people’s soul that resonates within many Russians even today.  

We will look at the work of Aivazovsky, Russia’s most famous marine painter, Savrasov,  perhaps the first  Russian painter to use landscape to  capture “mood”  Shishkinknown as the “Russian Singer of the Forests”, Polenov, who captures the beauty of the Russian countryside  with especial charm,  Kuindzhi, possibly the best colourist of all and  Levitan, whose landscapes have a simplified, mystical beauty of the land and is regarded as Russia’s greatest landscape  painter.


Jane Angelini is a freelance lecturer for the Arts Society and other arts organisations.  She runs her own art tours company, specialising in cultural visits. 

She speaks several foreign languages and has translated a number of works of 19th century Russian literature for Penguin Books and Oxford University Press.  She has a BA in Russian Studies and an MA in Byzantine Studies.