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Sakhalin Art Museum Presents the Fairy Tales in the Works of Russian Artists Exhibition from the Collections of the State Russian Museum

More than forty paintings of Russian artists who represented fairy tales subjects in different periods of their creative work have arrived in Sakhalin.

These are masterpieces by Roerich, Korovin, Stelletsky, Bilibin, Benoit, Polenova and other famous painters, whose names went down in the history of Russian art of the 20th century. The exhibition will acquaint art lovers with the most characteristic and significant trends in the development of the fairy tale theme in the works of the Abramtsevo Circle artists, the World of Art association, and other like-minded painters. Another section of the exhibition presents landscapes executed by the famous Russian artists Savrasov, Shishkin, Bogaevsky, Kuindzhi, Zhukovsky, and others.

The paintings by Elena Polenova, the first woman illustrator of Russian fairy tales, will be of special interest to visitors: according to the artist herself, she saw tales in her dreams and only then represented them on paper. The exhibition boasts Nicholas Roerich’s sketches for The Rite of Spring, the ballet by Stravinsky, as well as the sketches of Father Frost’s and Snegurochka’s costumes, created by the artist for Snow Maiden, Rimsky-Korsakov’s opera (the contemporary women of fashion copied many elements of the main character’s clothes). Visitors to the exhibition will have an opportunity to see the paintings of Sergey Malyutin, the founder of the Russian original modern trend in art (the artist who was the first to paint the matrioshka, Russian nesting doll, in the late 19th century) and Ivan Bilibin, the master of the fairy-tale illustration genre, as well as Baba Yaga by Alexander Benois from his unique ABC book based on fairy tales subjects.

Galina Krechina, a specialist of the State Russian Museum and the curator of the exhibition, stressed that the paintings had actually been taken from the exhibition halls of the museum, rather than from its storage facilities. “Our paintings travel a lot. They are frequent guests of different European museums; they have been to Japan and other countries. When we were tasked to arrange an exhibition for Sakhalin, we immediately decided to prepare something wonderful, because people living at the very edge of our country were waiting to see a miracle,” she added. 

This exhibition is also special in that along with the paintings, it includes an interesting collection of porcelain on fairy-tale subjects from the collections of the Sakhalin Art Museum. 

This project would not have been possible without the joint efforts of three partners: the State Russian Museum, the Sakhalin Regional Art Museum, and Sakhalin Energy. 

Natalya Gonchar, Sakhalin Energy Press Secretary, pointed out that it was the third of the large museum projects that had been implemented over the past five years, each of them being a pioneer in its genre. “When the company celebrated its 20th anniversary, it made a remarkable gift to Sakhalin residents: the Five Centuries of Russian Art exhibition, the first large-scale exhibition of the Russian State Museum on the island. Two and a half years later, there was another, unprecedented exhibition — The World of the Nivkhs, organised by the company together with its partners in honour of the 80th anniversary of the Nivkh writer and artist Vladimir Sangi. The exhibition was first demonstrated on Sakhalin, and then it was transported to the Stroganov Palace of the Russian State Museum in St. Petersburg. Now, in the year of the 25th anniversary of the company, we together have prepared this fairy-tale for all residents and guests of the Sakhalin Oblast. 

Alexander Buryka, Director of the Sakhalin Regional Museum, said that Sakhalin Energy had presented the museum with a new lighting system and new display cases in order to show the works of art included in this extraordinary exhibition to best advantage. After the exhibition, the museum will keep all this equipment as a gift from the company. 

The Fairy Tales in the Works of Russian Artists exhibition will be open until 30 May 2019. Admission is free.


8 April 2019

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