025) History of Russian Art [from a Holy Ikon to an 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.