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DateLecture
13 February 2019From Russia with Love
09 January 2019A Concise History of our Great British Public Parks
12 December 2018io Saturnalia - Happy Christmas the Roman Way
14 November 2018Plants in Art and Culture: how plants created society
10 October 2018Looking for Georgia - my journey across New Mexico in the footsteps of Georgia O'Keefe
12 September 2018Architecture Now
09 May 2018Arts of Zen: Aesthetics of Simplicity
11 April 2018Elephants & Archbishops: Matthew Parker and his Medieval Manuscripts
14 March 2018Cartoonery: English Attitudes
14 February 2018Laura Knight and Evelyn Dunbar: Which was the the greater artist?
10 January 2018Venice - Queen of the Adriatic
13 December 2017Glorious Illuminations: the Art of the Illuminated
08 November 2017Gustave Caillebotte: Impressionist, Gardener, Sailor.
11 October 2017Man and the Artic: Artists of Northern Norway
13 September 2017Art UK: Uncovering the Nation's Hidden Oil Painting Collection.
10 May 2017Thomas Moran 1837-1926 - The Turner of the America West
12 April 2017Life and Times of the Sundial: A perspective on Civilisation's Most Enduring Timekeeper
08 March 2017A Spanish Odyssey: The Art & Architecture of Roman, Medieval and Renaissance Spain.
08 February 2017Gillow Furniture: the pride of Lancaster
11 January 2017Design Matters: The Creation of Contemporary Fine Leather Bindings
14 December 2016Painting with Light - the development of stained glass in Britain from Bede to the 21st century.
09 November 2016Madame de Pompadour and the Porcelain of Sevres
12 October 2016The Power of Jewellery: Adornment and ritual from prehistory to the present.
14 September 2016Turner, Constable and the Romantic Imagination
08 June 2016Treasures and Mysteries in the Appleby Moot Hall Attic
11 May 2016Eric Ravillious: Designer: Wood Engravings, Ceramics and Lithography
13 April 2016Dresden Today - Art and Architecture
09 March 2016The Impressionists and the painting of modern life.
10 February 2016Classicism to Chintz - English Country House Interiors with reference to Harewood House
13 January 2016The Mona Lisa And Other Housewives

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From Russia with Love Brian Healey BA (Hons) Dip.Interior Design Wednesday 13 February 2019

This lecture is to be held on Wednesday the 13th February at 11 am at Appleby Market Hall. Members are free, there is a small charge of £8.00 to guests. Everyone welcome.

Following the changes that came about through the auspices of the "Peredvizhniki" or "Wanderers" movement, the focus of Russian painting changes from academic rigour to the many moods and characteristics of the Russian landscape itself. No longer would this merely provide a background to lofty themes, but would itself take centre stage, capable of telling its own story as powerful and as moving as any historical or mytholical drama. Artists such as Savrasov and Levitan, Shishkin and Kuindzhi to name but a few, found a haunting and elegiac beauty in this hitherto neglected but vast subject matter. From her majestic forests and moonlit marshlands, her snow bound villages, gigantic skies, endless horizons and unstoppable rivers, artists such as these from the latter half of the 19th century distilled the very essence of the Russian landscape and gave it a voice we only have just begun to appreciate.

Brian Healey has always loved art and painted but studied and taught foreign languages. Later in life he studied for a diploma in interior design and eventually in 2003 decided to focus on his first love of painting. Brian has had a number of solo and shared exhibitions and has exhibited widely from Devon to the Lake District.

Image is of painting by Savrasov - View of The Kremlin from Krymsky Bridge in inclement weather.

Lecture Report by Gillian Stoddart.

Brian Healey, lecturer for the February meeting of The Arts Society Appleby-in-Westmorland, said his love of Russia had sprung from his cruises to the Baltic Sea. He was clearly deeply interested in and knowledgeable about Russia and her art, and held the interest of his audience from start to finish.

Up until the early 19th century, Russian painting consisted almost entirely of academic styles and subject matter dominated by the West, Paris in particular. Czar Nicholas 1's promotion of 'national trends' began to change the focus towards more home grown themes, such as the status of the Russian peasant. By then the serfs had been libeated and by mid 19th century the class sysem and village structure, dominated by the landowner and the orthodox church, were under critical scutiny. Vasily Perov, whose 'Easter Procession in a Village' showing drunken clergy and peasants, was considered so shocking a view of modern Russia that he was nearly jailed for it. 'Peasant Holding a Bridle' shown above, was painted by Ivan Kramskoi in 1883. Kramskoi was one of many artists now painting smaller pictures that could easily be transported to Russians in the countryside, and showing real life figures - the peasant in the picture was Mina Moiseyev, who was often used by the artists. Kramskoi regarded the creation of collective images of the common people as one of the most important tasks of modern art.

In the latter half of the century the focus of Russian painting changed to the many moods and characteristics of the Russian landscape. Changes came about through the auspices of the 'Peredvizhniki' or 'Wanderers" movement. The Wanderers were a group of painters specializing in archetypal Russian views such as pine forests, wheat fields and water meadows. The dramatic landscape now took centre stage, telling its own story. Artists such as Savrasov and Levitan, Shiskin and Kuindzhi, showed their love of Mother Russia in their portrayal of its forests, snowbound villages, huge skies and endless horizons; Of all these artists Isaak Levitan is considered to be the one who most captured the character of Russian landscape.

Brian Healey revealed the fascinating insight into this moving story by showing us the paintings of more than a dozen superb artists, whose work is still relatively unknown in the West.