The Art of Knowledge | In artibus Foundation

The Art of Knowledge

To Mark the Centenary of Dmitri Vladimirovich Sarabianov’s Birth (1923–2023)

 14 October–12 November

This exhibition is dedicated to Dmitri Vladimirovich Sarabianov, the leading Russian art history, scholar, critic and teacher and specialist in the history of Russian art of the 19thand 20th centuries.

It is thanks to him that many phenomena which today are an integral part of any discussion of Russian art—the avant-garde, Russian art nouveau, Russian-European links—first became part of Russian and global art history.

At the peak of the era of stagnation, in 1980, his monograph Russian Painting of the 19th Century in European Schools: Experience of Comparative Research was published. After a long period of isolationism, this book enabled Russian art to be introduced into the western European context, while also illuminating the original nature of Russian traditions.

Sarabianov’s research into Russian art of the early 20thcentury, begun in parallel, and his discoveries and publications in this field constituted a revolution that allowed the avant-garde to be freely assessed for the first time and its language and poetics to be understood. Sarabianov’s texts, conference papers and lectures on the radical experiments of the early 20th century, which could be heard in various cities of the Soviet Union, Europe and the USA, affirmed the Russian avant-garde as an integral part of both Russian and world culture.

While the avant-garde became a fundamental value of western culture, Dmitri Sarabianov went further and radically changed what was now a mainstream approach. In his late works he focused on the specifics of frontier cultural phenomena and demonstrated the possibility of examining Russian art in the deep light of the eastern Christian philosophical tradition. In a later interview he noted: ‘I dream about an integral type of thought in which science, art, and faith combine. I need to find a means to bring these things together, to think carefully about how to do it. I haven’t yet been able to come up with anything more than premonitions and guesses…’.

Today, in the scholar’s centenary year, these and other aims that he set himself remain relevant and in need of further research.

The exhibition features unique documents and manuscripts from state and private archives that shed light on Sarabianov’spersonality and work. They include rare photographs, books and articles written by the author over 60 years, voice recordings and excerpts from a film based on his screenplay. Most importantly, his research is presented in the context of the art works that interested him, including those by Ilya Repin, Pavel Fedotov, the artists of the Blue Rose group and other important avant-garde figures, and paintings by older and younger contemporaries of Dmitri Sarabianov: Robert Falk, Alexander Tyshler, Pavel Nikonov, Nikolai Andronovand others to whom he had both creative and personal links.



Dmitri Vladimirovich Sarabianov was born on 10 October 1923. Just before the Great Patriotic War, in June 1941, he began studying in the Department of Art History of the Philosophical Faculty of the Institute of Philosophy, Literature and Art, which in that year became part of Moscow State University. In 1943, he went to the front as a military interpreter, having spent the previous two years in evacuation. He fought on the 1st and 2nd Ukrainian fronts and the 2ndBelorussian front and was injured twice. In 1948, he graduated from the Department of Art History of the History Faculty of Moscow State University and in 1952 he completed his postgraduate studies at the same university. From 1949 to 1996 he taught in the Department of Russian Art History at Moscow State University, where he was awarded a Doctor of Art History degree (1971) and a professorship (1973). He was a Full Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences (1992). He was awarded the Russian State Prize for Literature and Art (1994) and the Russian Presidential Prize for Literature and Art (2001). He was the author and co-author of more than 400 research publications, including Images of a Century. On Russian Painting of the 19thCentury, the Artists and Their Paintings (1967), Russian Painting of the Late 1900s–Early 1910s (1971), Pavel Fedotov and Russian Artistic Culture of the 1840s (1973), Russian Painting of the 19th Century in European Schools(1980), The History of Russian Art of the Second Half of the 19th Century (1989), The History of Russian Art of the Late 19thand Early 20th Centuries (1993), Russian Painting. Awakening Memory (1998), Russia and the West: Historical and Artistic Links from the 18th to the Early 20th Century (2003) and Robert Falk’s Paintings (2006).


Additional information:

In artibus Foundation is a non-commercial organization that supports research in the field of classical art. The foundation’s main activities are the organization of exhibitions in collaboration with museums, cultural foundations and private collections in Russia and abroad, a publishing programme, the organization of academic conferences and the support of international cultural initiatives. The foundation’s exhibition space opened in 2014.

In artibus Foundation address: Prechistenskaya naberezhnaya, 17 (entrance from Kursovoi pereulok)


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