"Silver age" in Russian art
New style in Russian art has arisen in 80th of XIX century under the big influence of the French impressionism. Its blossoming is noted by a boundary XIX and ХХ centuries.
Within several decades after the decline (already by the end of 10th ХХ centuries the modernist style in Russian art with which the Silver age associates, concedes the predominating role to new directions) Silver age art was perceived as a decadence and lack of taste.
But to vary by the end of the second millennium of an estimation began more close. The matter is that exists two types of blossoming of spiritual culture. For the first powerful innovations and great achievements are characteristic. Vivid examples to that is Greek classics V–IV centuries BC and especially European Renaissance.
In the middle of XIX century representatives of romanticism dreamt of creation of uniform style which could surround the person with beauty and by that to transform a life. Art means to change the world – such problem put before creators fine Rihard Wagner and прерафаэлиты. And already in the end of XIX century Oscar Auld asserted, that «more likely the life imitates art, rather than life art». There was an obvious staging of behavior and a life, game began to define not only character of art culture, but also style of a life of its founders.
The silver age in Russian culture is not only painting and architecture of a modernist style, not only the symbolist theatre which has embodied idea of synthesis of arts when over performance statement together with directors and actors artists and composers worked, it and the symbolism literature, and especially poetry which has entered into history of the world literature under the name «Silver age poetry». It is style of an epoch, a way of life.
To make of the life a poem – a most important task which was put before themselves by heroes of the Silver age. So, symbolists, first of all, did not wish to separate the writer from the person, the literary biography from the personal. Symbolism did not wish to be only a literary current, but tore to become vitally creative method. It was a number of attempts to find irreproachably true alloy of a life and creativity, some kind of a philosophical stone of art.
Were in this aspiration and shady sides. Unduly pretentious speech and the gesticulation, a shocking suit, drugs, spirits – on the verge of centuries all it carried signs избранности and generated original snobbery.
The Literary and art bohemia sharply opposing to weight, searched novelty, singularity, a sharpness of experiences. The magic, spiritism and theosophy involved symbolists not only as a picturesque material for works of art, but also as real ways of expansion of own spiritual horizons.
In Russia there was a new generation of literary and art intelligence; it considerably differed from generation of «six-foremen» not only creative interests; external distinctions were striking also.
So, the uniform style which arisen in Russia and has become by a synonym of concept the Silver age, was really universal for – let for short term – it has captured not only all spheres of creativity, but also directly life of people of an epoch «fin de siècle». Any big style is such.
The aesthetics of the Silver age of Russian culture in aggregate has summed most different, often opposite directions, movements, bright author's finds up to many searches of classical aesthetic thought, especially in revealing of metaphysical essence aesthetic and artistry of art. Along with it, many thinkers, writers, artists, theorists of art of that time in atmosphere of crisis of Culture well felt with them and arts more or have less unanimously come to conclusion about necessity of essential expansion of sphere of aesthetic experience for the frameworks limiting it in a classical aesthetics. Have realized, that art in it новоевропейском understanding independent «graceful art» finishes the life, and the artist should leave for its limits during a real life and there actively work under aesthetic laws over its transformation. Today it is obvious, that the Silver age aesthetics is an aesthetics of great Utopias, an aestheticism, courageous and radical experiments and serious opening. Aesthetic experience and aesthetic theories of that time stand at sources of many modern radical processes in sphere of art practice and mark a stage of formation of neoclassical and aesthetics which actively leave on explicit level in the beginning of a new millennium.
The statement on a boundary of centuries of a priority of the art forms only indirectly reflecting a reality, was expressed in polarization of art forces in the beginning of XX century: K. Malevich (suprematism), V. Kandinsky (abstractionism), Russian impressionists (K. Korovin, I. Grabar, V. Serov). There is a creative association «the art World» (its founders A. Benua and S. Dyagilev). Refusal of realism and утилитаризма XIX century, declaration of a way of the «pure art» released from fetters of «public service» leave traces on painting. Ideals of service and harmony are expressed to beauty in creativity of members of association (K. Somova, B. Kustodieva, M. Dobuzhinskogo, L. Baksta, N. Reriha, V. Serova, M. Nesterov, I. Levitan). Merits of «the art World» were showed also in creation of the highly artistic book drawing by it, a print of new criticism, wide publishing and exhibition activity.
Among Valentine Serov was closest to realistic tradition. Perhaps, it was most considerable of Russian portraitists of the Silver age. He created portraits-pictures where the character is presented in active interaction with the vital environment. And it the basic founder of a picturesque aesthetics.
To this principle there corresponds also one of its best works of last period – a portrait of princess Olga Konstantinovny Orlovoj. Here all is constructed on symmetry and the contrasts resulted, the truth, in certain harmony. So, the head and the case портретируемой are transferred is very volume, and feet are given by a silhouette, almost flat. The triangle in which the figure is entered, leans against a sharp corner; frames of pictures are aggressively aimed at a model head. However the quiet, absolutely confident look, framed with a huge hat, as though stops sharp movements of subjects of a rich interior. Apparently, Серов ironically enough concerned to портретируемой.
Nikolay Roerich was not only the artist, but also the historian. Its interest to archeology is known also. It has found reflex ion in its art. The artist the Slavic pagan antiquity and early Christianity especially interested. The inner world of people of the remote past, and their ability as if to be dissolved in the nature world is close to Roerich. Defining role in the image is played by plan metric lines and local color stains.
Lion more than others, has come nearer to the European variant of a modernist style. The flexible contour, the generalized treatment of the form, of color and plainness of the image testify to influence on such western artists, as Edward Munch and others.
Konstantin Somov – one of the brightest artists of the Petersburg association «the art World». It was the master of refined color and the refined drawing.
The picture «the Harlequin and the lady» is executed by the artist in several variants. In works of 1910th of Catfishes quite often repeats the same composition methods and light effects. It is keen on art of XVIII century – «a gallant century». Characters of the Italian comedy of masks often appear in its pictures. Here again: a tree-side scene in the foreground, nearby the figures of protagonists shined with fireworks, then a gleam in depth where small silhouettes ряженых gentlemen and ladies fuss. Graceful theatre of art for art.
In all pictures of Borisov-Musatov finds expression romantic dream of the fine harmony absolutely alien to modern it to the world. It was the true lyric poet, is thin feeling the nature, feeling the person with the nature.
«Reservoir», perhaps, the most perfect product of the artist. All basic motives of its creativity are present here: ancient park, «тургеневские girls», the general static composition, the quiet color, raised «гобеленная» decorative effect… In images of heroines of «Reservoir» sister and the wife of the artist are embodied. In the masterpiece Borisov-Musatov managed to represent a timeless condition. The neutral name «Reservoir» causes an image of general harmonious human unity – неразделенности, and the image turns to a sign demanding silent contemplation.
It is most indicative an image of «silver age» it was showed in the literature. On the one hand, in products of writers steady traditions of critical realism remained. Tolstoy in last works of art lifted a problem of resistance of the person to impenitent norms of a life («the Live corpse», «Father Sergy», «After ball»). The basic thought of publicist of Tolstoy – impossibility to eliminate harm violence.
And. P. Chekhov these years has created plays «Three sisters» and «the Cherry garden» in which has reflected important changes occurring in a society.
Socially pointed plots were in honor and at young writers. I.A. Bunin investigated not only an outer side of the processes occurring in village (peasantry stratification, gradual dying off of nobility), but also and psychological consequences of these phenomena, how they influenced souls of Russian people («Village», «Waterless valley», a cycle of «country» stories). A.I. Kuprin has shown the unattractive party of an army life: lawlessness of soldiers, опустошенность and in spirituality of «misters of officers» («Duel»). Reflexion in it of a life and proletariat struggle became one of the new phenomena in the literature. The initiator of this theme became And. M. Gorky («Enemies», «Mother»).
In the first decade of XX century the whole galaxy of talented «country» poets has come to Russian poetry – S.A. Yesenin, N.A. Klyuyev, S.A. Klychkov.
At the same time the voice showing the account to representatives of realism of new generation, realistic art protesting against a major principle – the direct image of world around has started to sound. According to ideologists of this generation, art, being synthesis of two opposite beginnings – a matter and spirit, is capable not only to «display», but also to «change» the existing world, to create a new reality.
Founders of a new direction in art poets-symbolists, declared war to materialistic outlook, asserting, that belief, religion – a corner stone of human life and art. They considered, that poets are allocated by ability to join the other-worldly world by means of art symbols. Originally symbolism has taken the form of a decadence. By this term meant mood of decadence, melancholy and the hopelessness, sharply expressed individualism. These lines were peculiar K.D. Balmont, A.A. Bloka, V.J. Bryusov's to early poetry. After 1909 there comes a new stage in symbolism development. It is painted in Slavophil tone, shows contempt for the «rationalistic» West, foretells destruction of the western civilization presented, including official Russia. At the same time he addresses to spontaneous national forces, to Slavic язычеству, tries to get into depths of Russian soul and sees in Russian national life roots of «rebirth» of the country. These motives especially brightly sounded in Block creativity (poetic cycles «In the field Куликовом», «Native land») and A. Belogo («the Silver pigeon», «Petersburg»). Russian symbolism became the world scale phenomenon. The concept «silver age» is connected with it, first of all.
As opponents of symbolists acted акмеисты (from греч. «акме» – the higher degree something, blossoming force). They denied mystical aspirations of symbolists, proclaimed self-value of a real life, urged to return to words their primary sense, having released from symbolical interpretation. The basic criterion of an estimation of creativity for акмеистов (N.S. Gumilev, A.A. Ahmatova, O.E. Mandelshtam) was faultless aesthetic taste, beauty and an art word And formalists clearly and accurately declared, that their morphological method of the analysis of art has arisen for studying of artistry of art, i.e. for revealing of its aesthetic qualities. They have been convinced, that» литературность»,» poetry», i.e. the art essence of a work of art can be revealed only by the morphological analysis of the work of art, instead of that, «reflex ion» of that it is, who and under what conditions has created it, as it influences the recipient what has social, cultural, etc. value. Terms a material became the main things in them категориальном the device (everything of what the artist does product concerned it: a word, language in its ordinary use, thought, feelings, events, etc.) and the form (that the artist in the course of creativity gives to a material). Product was called as a thing for it in understanding of formalists was not created or created as the classical aesthetics believed, but became by means of system of receptions.
Russian art culture of the beginning of XX century tested also influence of the arisen in the West and captured avant-gardism which has arisen in the West all art forms. This current has incorporated the various art directions which declared the rupture with traditional cultural values and have proclaimed ideas of creation of «new art». Futurists (from an armor were bright representatives of Russian avant-guard. Their poetry differed special attention not to the maintenance, and to the form of a poetic design. Program installations of futurists were guided by causing ant aesthetics. In the products they used vulgar lexicon, a professional slang, language of the document, the poster and the poster. Collections of verses of futurists carried characteristic names: The slap in the face to public taste», the Dead Moon», etc. the Russian futurism has been presented by several poetic groupings. The brightest names were collected by Petersburg group» Гилея» – V. Hlebnikov, V.V. Majakovsky, A.E. Kruchenyh, V.V. Kamensk. Collections of verses and I. Severjanina's public statements used stunning success.
The beginning of XX century is time of creative launch of great Russian composers-innovators A.N. Skryabin, I.F. Stravinsky, S.I. Taneeva, With. V. Rakhmaninov. In the creativity they tried to be beyond traditional classical music, to create new musical forms and images.
Young directors A.A. Gorsky and M.I. Fokin in a counterbalance to an academism aesthetics have put forward a principle according to which full authors of performance became not only the ballet master and the composer, but also the artist. Ballets Mountain and Фокина were put in K.A. Korovin's scenery, A.N. Benua, L.S. Baksta, N.K. Roerich. Russian ballet school of «silver age» has given to the world a galaxy of brilliant dancers – A.T. Pavlovu, T.T. Karsavinu, V.F. Nizhinsky, etc.
Remarkable line of culture of the beginning of XX century of a steel of work of outstanding theatrical directors. K.S. Stanislavsky, the founder of psychological actor's school, considered, that the theatre future – in profound psychological realism, in the decision of most important tasks of actor's transformation. V.E. Mejerhold conducted searches in the field of theatrical convention, обобщенности, uses of elements of national buffoonery and theatre of masks. E.B. Vahtangov preferred expressive, entertainment, joyful performances.
In the beginning of XX century all the tendency to connection of various kinds of creative activity was more distinctly shown. At the head of this process there was «an art World», uniting in the numbers not only artists, but also poets, philosophers, musicians. In 1908–1913 With. P. Dyagilev has organized in Paris, London, Rome and other capitals of the Western Europe «Russian seasons», presented by ballet and opera performances, theatrical painting, music etc.
Art in the «Silver age» context is comprehended as result of creativity, and the artist – as by the God the selected conductor of the spiritual images expressed exclusively in the art form over which actions divine forces supervise. Art creativity was represented in the tideway of this aesthetics by an ideal basis on which the human life and culture of the future should not only be under construction, but also to come to the end process of creation of the world by efforts of artists-creators. On the being art here represented innovative development of traditional Christian aesthetic values in aspect of their approach to a modern life and with orientation to spiritual, scientific, art searches and aspirations of the person of XX century.
The big role in development of an aesthetics of the Silver age Russian symbolists have played. Symbolism has got strong national coloring at the Andrey Belogo, Vyacheslav Ivanov, Alexander Bloka, Эллиса, etc. Vyacheslav Ivanov has been convinced, that essentially new stage of art creativity when all arts will be united in a certain is art-religious mystery – original synthetic sacral action in which will accept active participation both the prepared actors, and all spectators comes nearer. The true artist-symbolist of the future, according to Ivanov, should realize creatively in itself communication «with divine всеединством», go through a myth as event of personal experience and then to express it in the мистериальном creativity. For Andrey Belogo the essence and sense of art had religious coloring, and in теургии as overall objective of symbolism he saw return of art to sphere of religious activity on life transformation.
Representatives of «the art World» were united by two main ideas, two aesthetic tendencies: 1) Aspiration to return to its Russian art main, but quality thoroughly forgotten in XIX century – artistry to release it from any tendentiousness (social, religious, political, etc.) And to direct it to purely aesthetic channel. From here the popular slogan in environment l'art pour l'art, beauty search in everything, aversion of ideology and art practice of academism and передвижничества, interest to romantic and symbolist tendencies in art. 2) Романтизация, поэтизация, Russian national heritage, interest to a folk art, for what the main participants of association have received in art circles a nickname «retrospective dreamers». Especially it differed K.A. Catfish and A.N. Benua, aspiring to revive and immortalize in art a life of last centuries in its essence – beauty and «wonderful mystery». And Roerich not without influence European, popular at that time and in Russia, has directed the spiritual look on the East and in its mysterious ancient wisdom has found what did not find on the European soil. In the texts Roerichs paid special attention to Beauty, Art, Culture as to the major and necessary phenomena on a way of spiritual development.
1. Arnolds A.I. Civilisation of the future century. – М: «Graal», 2007.
2. M.N. Vechnye's thunders of value of Russian culture //Questions. – 2004. №1. 41–53.
3. Gurevich P.S. Cultural science. – М: Gardarika, 2000. – 280.
4. Emeljanov B.V. Russian Silver age philosophy: the Course of lectures. – Ekaterinburg, 2005. – 320.