2280 Bethany Road
DeKalb, IL 60115
Literature and Painting, 1840–1890
“In Russian Realisms, Molly Brunson tackles a very complicated subject and elaborates a serious philosophical context. An analysis and appreciation of this kind are long overdue.” —John Bowlt, editor of Russian Avant-Garde Theatre: War, Revolution, and Design
"Molly Brunson has written a provocative, sophisticated, and illuminating study that focuses on the making of Russian realism through the collaborative effort of literature and painting in the period 1840 to 1890." —The Russian Review
One fall evening in 1880, Russian painter Ilya Repin welcomed an unexpected visitor to his home: Lev Tolstoy. The renowned realists talked for hours, and Tolstoy turned his critical eye to the sketches in Repin’s studio. Tolstoy’s criticisms would later prompt Repin to reflect on the question of creative expression and conclude that the path to artistic truth is relative, dependent on the mode and medium of representation. In this original study, Molly Brunson traces many such paths that converged to form the tradition of nineteenth-century Russian realism, a tradition that spanned almost half a century—from the youthful projects of the Natural School and the critical realism of the age of reform to the mature masterpieces of Tolstoy, Fyodor Dostoevsky, and the paintings of the Wanderers, Repin chief among them.
July 2016, 264 pp., 64 illus., 6x9
Molly Brunson is associate professor of Russian literature at Yale University.
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