Museum of Modern Western Art

HistoryChronology1892–1917  1897

Politics and Culture

Russian gold standrat

Золотая монета достоинством в 15 рублей

On the initiative of Sergey Witte the rouble finally joins the gold standard.

A treaty between Russia and Austria-Hungary agrees to maintain the status quo in the Balkans. 

Formation of the General Jewish Labour Bund in the Russian Empire. 

First general census across the Russian Empire (not including Finland), establishing a population of 126 million.

Переписной лист, использовавшийся при первой всеобщей переписи населения в Российской империи

The Consequences of the Dreyfus Affair

Альфред Дрейфус в тюрьме
Первая полоса газеты Le Petit Journal
Выпуск 20 августа1895

Konstantin Stanislavsky and Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko agree to found the Moscow Arts Theatre, with the first as producer and director, the second as literary director.

Константин Сергеевич Станиславский и Владимир Иванович Немирович-Данченко
© РИА Новости

Leo Tolstoy’s What is Art

Портрет Льва Николаевича Толстого (фрагмент)
Холст, масло. 95 х 71,2
Государственная Третьяковская галерея, Москва

In What is Art Leo Tolstoy divided art into good and bad, asserting that good art should inspire a sense of common brotherhood, that it should be based on an emotional tie between the artist and his audience. Amongst those producing the opposite kind of art he named Richard Wagner and Ludwig van Beethoven. Tolstoy applied all his considerable power to an attack on Impressionism and other forms of artistic expression, which he defined as decadent. 

Igor Grabar’s Decline or Renaissance?

Ф. А. Малявин
Портрет Художника Игоря Эммануиловича Грабаря (фрагмент)
Холст, масло. 131 х 63
Государственный Русский музей, Санкт-Петербург

In a supplement to the periodical Cornfield [Нива] a young artist and art historian, Igor Grabar, published the article ‘Decline or Renaissance’ in which he analysed the state of Western contemporary art.  Grabar’s central art historical tenet underpinning this and other writings lay in the rejection of ‘photographic realism’. Somewhat later the artist was to apply in his own works a technique based on the achievements of Claude Monet and the Divisionists, thereby allowing Abram Efros to call him ‘an Impressionist meteorite fallen into the midst of our painting’.

Mikhail Morozov and Sergey Shchukin start to make regular trips to Paris to acquire French paintings. 

Paintings by Claude Monet are shown at international exhibitions in Venice and Dresden.

Compromise on the Collection of Gustave Caillebotte

In February the collection of Gustave Caillebotte went on public display in the Musée du Luxembourg. For the very first time, despite the opposition of the arbiters of taste in the Salon and the Academy of Arts, people could see a broad range of Impressionist paintings. But the exhibition was possible only after a long battle waged against the conservative rules of the Salon and the Museum administration by Claude Monet, Auguste Renoir and other Impressionists. The compromise which was eventually arrived at made it possible at last to exhibit a large number of Caillebotte’s Impressionist masterpieces but the greater part of the collection bequeathed to the nation under the terms of his will had already been rejected: these paintings were later to be sold. Only Edgar Degas avoided rejection: all seven of his pastels were accepted by the commission set up at the Musée du Luxembourg. Of four works by Édouard Manet two were declined, and a similar fate met those of Paul Cézanne. Just eight of Monet’s sixteen were accepted, seven of Camille Pissarro’s eighteen, five of Alfred Sisley’s nine. Even so, conservative artists and their supporters were disappointed that they had not been able to entirely isolate the new art. 

Exhibition by the Nabis group (Maurice Denis, Pierre Bonnard, Édouard Vuillard etc) in Ambroise Vollard’s Paris gallery. 

Художники группы «Наби» Кер-Ксавье Руссель, Эдуар Вюйар и Феликс Валлатон с писателем Romain Coolus 

А. Костеневич