104) History of Russian Art: From Holy Ikon to Unholy Revolution

As Winston Churchill famously put it, “Russia is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.” Yet, if any study were to attempt to unwrap this riddle, it would be the study of its art, the one true self-portrait of any nation. Russia’s first heyday occurred over a millennium ago, after having embraced the Byzantine Christianity. Later, the Turco-Mongol invasion infused its own strain into the culture. The 15th & 16th centuries witnessed the flowering of Russian icons and hipped-roof architecture.  In the early 18th century Peter the Great force-fed the nation with Western culture. Thereafter, Russian civilization trod its own individual path which resulted, a century ago, in a bloody revolution that broke all boundaries, and, in its turn, was reflected in Russian abstract art.

About the Instructor: ELENA LIVINGSTONE-ROSS, Russian born and Princeton educated, has taught Art History and European History at the college level since 1995. Having seen just about every painting, sculpture and building that she projects onto the screen with her own eyes, she brings a unique sense of reality to her lectures, engaging the audience with her effortless style of delivery, which has made her classes a continuous draw. 

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