Image: Art of the October Revolution, Compiler, Mikhail Guerman, Trans., W.Freeman, D.Saunders, C.Binns, Aurora Art Publishers, Leningrad, 1986
Category Archives: Russian culture
Art and social life: the Russian Revolution and the creative power of idealism 8
‘…it is not difficult to see that ours is a birth-time and a period of transition to a new era. Spirit has broken with the world it has hitherto inhabited and imagined, and is of a mind to submerge it in the past, and in the labour of its own transformation. Spirit is indeed never at rest but always engaged in moving forward. But just as the first breath drawn by a child after its long, quiet nourishment breaks the gradualness of merely quantitative growth – there is a qualitative leap, and the child is born – so likewise the Spirit in its formation matures slowly and quietly into its new shape, dissolving bit by bit the structure of its previous world, whose tottering state is only hinted at by isolated symptoms. The frivolity and boredom which unsettle the established order, the vague foreboding of something unknown, these are the heralds of approaching change. The gradual crumbling that left unaltered the face of the whole is cut short by a sunburst which, in one flash, illuminates the features of the new world.’
G.W.F.Hegel, Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit, Trans., A.V.Miller, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1977, 6-7
In beginnings and in ends,
artists, let your faith be strong.
Know where hell and heaven await us.
It is your gift to measure all you see
with dispassionate eyes.
Let your gaze be firm and clear.
Rub out the incidental details
and you’ll see the splendour of the world.
Find out where the light shines
and you’ll know where lies the dark.
Let all that’s sacred in the world,
and all that’s wicked, pass in unhurried flow
through the fire of your heart and the cool of
Alexander Blok, from the poem ‘Retribution’
Art of the October Revolution, Compiler, Mikhail Guerman, Trans., W.Freeman, D.Saunders, C.Binns, Aurora Art Publishers, Leningrad, 1986
Five Russian souls 3
Five Russian souls 2
Five Russian souls 1
Art and social life: the Russian Revolution and the creative power of idealism 16
The battle for art – part six: the ideological function of a stamp
Bottom image: Art of the October Revolution, Compiler, Mikhail Guerman, Trans., W.Freeman, D.Saunders, C.Binns, Aurora Art Publishers, Leningrad, 1986
Be daring now and forever
Art and social life: the Russian Revolution and the creative power of idealism 15
Excellent post. Beautiful images. I was surprised to see that elements of some of them (including those in the video) look very much like what is in paintings from the period (e.g. Rodin’s ‘Red-headed girl with Parasol’, Monet’s ‘Woman with a Parasol’ [1875, cf. the post-1902 photo by Adolf Miethe]; I think also of a grainy black and white image [in the video] taken in 1846, on display in Texas, that is very reminiscent of early Cubism [specifically, paintings by Braque of L’Estaque] and an early black and white photo I have seen of L’Estaque, and of another which is very reminiscent of Cézanne’s Mont Sainte-Victoire paintings). I wonder if there might have been any cross-influences between these photos and paintings or vice-versa?
I hope to be remembered for my atrocities!
These are actually not colorized photographs, they’re color photographs by a man named Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky. He’s a Russian who really pioneered in, and made the field of color photography something worth funding. He was given funding by Tsar Nicholas II to take 2 trips through Russia photographing everything that came to mind. He went on 2 trips, one in 1909, and one a bit later in 1915.
Gorsky was one of the later photographers in this medium, but he certainly wasn’t someone who fades in comparison. The earlier individuals are people who were experimenting with different methods, cameras, exposures, and emulsions (The light-sensitive coating that was smeared on the glass plate to permanently imprint the image after the exposure). Individuals like Adolf Miethe (who was active in 1902 onwards), and Edward Raymond Turner (The Englishman who filmed the first color photographs in 1902) have one thing in common –They all…
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