A major exposition of Russian landscapes of the times of Leo Tolstoi will open in the National Gallery, London, on Wednesday, June 23.
The National Gallery has never hosted such an exposition and works by Russian landscape painters were last exhibited in London in 1975, curator Christopher Riopelle told journalists.
The name of the great Russian writer Leo Tolstoi (1828-1910) is mentioned in the title of the exposition because his works are well known in the west, Mr. Riopelle said.
In his words, the exposition is to startle the audience and show the beauty of Russian nature and inner world.
All in all, the exposition features 70 paintings by 15 Russian painters of the 19th century from the collections of the Tretyakov Gallery (Moscow), the Russian Museum (St. Petersburg), the Russian art museums of Nizhny Novgorod (the Volga region) and Kiev (Ukraine).
Three separate halls are dedicated to the outstanding Russian landscape painters, Ivan Shishkin (1832-1898), Arkhip Kuindzhi (1842-1910) and Isaak Levitan. Works by Alexei Venetsianov (1780-1847), Silvestr Shchedrin (1791-1830), Mikhail Nesterov (1862-1942), Vasily Polenov (1844-1927) and others are exhibited in other halls.
According to Christopher Riopelle, there are real masterpieces among them, for instance "Rye" and "The Forest Horizons" by Ivan Shishkin, "Harvesting. Summer" by Alexei Venetsianov, "A Birch Grove" by Arkhip Kuindzhi and an author's copy of Alexei Savrasov's "The Rooks Have Come".
The exposition already enjoyed great success in Groningen (Holland).
It will be running in the National Gallery until September 12.