The Poetry of Water in the Russian Art of IX–XX Centuries
June – September, 2007
From June – September 2007, the exhibition of Russian painting and sculpture: Poetry of Water in the Russian Art of IX–XX century opened in Evian, one of the most renowned cities of France. The project was initiated by the city administration. The State Russian Museum and the Ekaterina Cultural Foundation were invited to cooperation on behalf of Russia.
Water is one of the basic elements of the universe and possesses great life-giving power. It was from this element that the human race first emerged, along with all other life on Earth. From the earliest times it has been an eternal motif in art. Due to its double essence and the dual role of water in human life, artists began employing themes connected with water to reflect a state of mind, a mood. The water motif has one other meaning in art: the underwater world symbolizes a fond dream and illusiveness, a phantom world which has gone beneath the waves.
In XIX century water, mostly the depths of the sea, was one of the favorite motifs among Russian artists. The exhibition represented well-known paintings of "the singer of water" (as he was called by the contemporaries) I. K. Ayvazovsky, works by I. E. Repin, B. M. Kustodiev, K. E. Makovsky, K. S. Petrov-Vodkin. A part of the exhibition was devoted to water in modern Russian art. A wide time range of the works presented and a large number of famous artists made it possible to get a clear view not only of the motif of water in the works by Russian artists but also of the Russian art as a whole.
The Ekaterina Cultural Foundation presented several paintings from its modern collection: A White Night by Timur Novikov, A Chaise Longue under the Water by A. Vinogradov and V. Dubosarsky, Seven Feet of Water under the Keel by Andrey Filippov and others.