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Title: Abramtsevo: Multiple Cultural Expressions of a Russian Folk and Religious Identity.
Author: Wierda, Inge Schjpdt
ISNI:       0000 0001 3567 9015
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2009
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This thesis is premised on two assumptions; firstly that art historians, for the most part, have not engaged sufficiently with Russian art in its cultural context, and secondly that the multiple cultural activities of the late nineteenth-century Abramtsevo artists' circle is pivotal to an understanding of its religious and folk identity. Much neglect'ed by Soviet and contemporary scholars, Abramtsevo artists' circle aligned itself intimately with its national religious heritage; whilst it took the cause of the 'narod' (the common people) to heart and furthered peasant crafts and story tellings. Focusing predominantly on the circle's exploration of its cultural heritage, this. dissertation assesses, aspects ofreligion(s) and folklore in the late nineteenth-century fonnation of a national identity in the arts. The circle's research into Russian medieval ecclesiastical art and architecture, Russian arts and crafts, myths and beliefs, drama and music, folk tales and epics will be read within the intellectual and socio-political context of its age. The mediation of German Idealist, Slavophile and radical thought, as well as the positioning of individual members towards the liberation movements (of serfs, women, Jewish Russians and political radicals) oftheir time will be examined within their particular art practices. By means ,of studying primary and secondary sources in Russian archives and various libraries concerning the vital and partly neglected role of women and the Jewish artist Mark Antokolsky, gaps of knowledge about the circle's foundation and its subsequent Arts and Crafts movement should be filled. Research at the site further provided new insights pertaining to the significance of Abramtsevo's location: on Radonezh soil for a neo-medieval and religious revival to occur, and in the countryside fo'r the emergence of a framework in which contested and new ideologies about elite and peasant culture could be discussed. The transfonned encounter between the two cultures at Abramtsevo was translated into the circle's articulation of a new Russian folk, mythical and religious aesthetic. This will be demonstrated in eight case studies of Abramtsevo's trendsetting multiple cultural expressions of a Russian folk and religious identity encompassing icons, paintings, sculpture, architecture, drama,' stage design, music, libretti, ceramics and illustrative work, whilst Abramtsevo's historical moment of production will be qualified as an avant-gardist moment in the Epilogue.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available