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Everything is Left to the People

The exhibition named ‘Everything is Left to the People’ is devoted to the 60th anniversary of Viktor Bondarenko, the well-known arts collector. The exhibition is the third in a series of projects related to Russian icons. Two previous exhibitions: ‘A Tree can be Recognized by its Fruits’ and ‘The Iconography of the Romanovs Dynasty’ were exhibited at the State Tretyakov Gallery in 2003 and 2008.

The new project covers the period from the most ancient times to 1929. More than 125 pieces are on display in total, the majority of which were painted during the XVII-XX centuries. Icon art was neglected during Soviet times but once again interest is growing rapidly. Victor Bondarenko has contributed much to the growing popularity of icon art in Russia.

Russian iconography of the XVII-XX centuries contains famous and exemplary examples of high art; works that fill in the gaps in our understanding of the iconography of old times. Among the XVII century works, a special role is assigned to a series of eight icons from an iconostasis of 1680, created by masters of the Armory Museum. The icons on display, particularly those from the XVIII-XIX centuries, help us to fill in various gaps in our understanding of Russian iconography, though not all of the icons have been properly studied.

Victor Bondarenko’s collection of icons represents the main Russian centres of iconography: Yaroslavl, Kostroma, Tver, Uglich, Nerekhta, Palekh, Romanov-Borisoglebsk, Pavlov on Oka, Syzran, Guslitsy. The exhibition is crowned by a copy of an ancient ‘wonder’ icon of the Mother of God, painted in 1929 by Alexander Bryagin, a restorer of old icons. Created during the Soviet Union, it was intended to be part of an exhibition-sale of Russian icons in Europe and America in 1929-1931.

22nd, April – 18th July
The Central Museum of Old Russian
Culture and Arts of Andrey Rublyov
Opening – 21st , April, at 16.00
10 Andronievskaya Ploschad

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