Valentin Serov - Portrait of Ida Rubinstein, 1910.

And caricature on it by Alexei Radakov

The portrait by Serov marked a new, art nouveau, period in his art. The nude image of a Russian dancer Ida Rubinstein caused a scandal in Russian cultural society and became an object of criticism and joke. “A galvanized corpse” - such a short and harsh comment on it made Ilya Repin.

Also Ida herself was a rather scandalous person - she began her dance career too late for a professional and  got fame for her unusual for that time erotic manner of performance. This portrait depicted her as Salome, her debut role in 1908, in which she stripped  nude. In 1910 she was already a European celebrity after joining Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes and successfully working with Nijinsky, Bakst and Fokine.

Remember the post I made about Vladimir Vysotsky? This is one of his most famous songs. It’s about friendship. Found a translation for you by Andrey Kneller:

A song about a friend

 If your friend just became a man,

 Not a friend, not a foe,- just so,

 If you really can’t tell from the start,

 If he’s strong in his heart, —

 To the peaks take this man - don’t fret!

 Do not leave him alone, on his own,

 Let him share the same view with you—

 Then you’ll know if he’s true.

 If the guy on the peak got weak,

 If he lost all his care - got scared,

 Took a step on the frost - got lost,

 Tripped and screamed in exhaust, —

 Then the one you held close is false,

 Do not bother to yell- expel, —

 We can’t take such aboard, and in short

 We don’t sing of his sort.

 If the guy didn’t whine nor pine,

 He was dull and upset, but went,

 When you slipped from the cliff,

 He heaved, holding you in his grip;

 If he walked right along, seemed strong,

 On the top stood like he belonged, —

 Then, whenever the chances are slim

 You can count on him!

Jean-Laurent Mosnier - Ivan Muravyov-Apostol with daughter
Ivan Muravyov-Apostol (1762-1851) was a very educated man who made a brilliant career including military, diplomatic and court service. Particularly, for some time he was a tutor of Catherine the Great’s grandsons Alexander and Konstantin), later made a contribution to anti-French coalition. He had a reputation of a liberal so it’s not a surprise that all his three sons were a Decembrists (the elder Matvei was exiled till 1856 , the second Sergei was one of the five hanged leaders and the last Ippolit killed himself after Chernigov regiment revolt).

Jean-Laurent Mosnier - Ivan Muravyov-Apostol with daughter

Ivan Muravyov-Apostol (1762-1851) was a very educated man who made a brilliant career including military, diplomatic and court service. Particularly, for some time he was a tutor of Catherine the Great’s grandsons Alexander and Konstantin), later made a contribution to anti-French coalition. He had a reputation of a liberal so it’s not a surprise that all his three sons were a Decembrists (the elder Matvei was exiled till 1856 , the second Sergei was one of the five hanged leaders and the last Ippolit killed himself after Chernigov regiment revolt).

stalinist-gothic asked:

Hello! First off I want to say I love your blog. Lots of wonderful interesting posts. I was wondering if you could answer a question for me about Russian iconography. I'm an art student doing a project based on the fairy tale of Vasilisa the Wise and Koschei the Deathless. I want to use very culturally specific themes to illustrate his evilness. Can you tell me some colors/animals/plants etc. that have negative connotations in Russian art and culture? If not that's ok too :D Thank you!

Wow! You are doing great job, I should say :) 

Well, guess I need some time to organize the information (I’ll be pleased, Russian folklore is my kink). And let me say - you’ve chosen wonderful material for your project! 

Anonymous asked:

Hello. You run a lovely blog. I came across a copper coloured medal at a yard sale that has Большая Золотая written on it with a small silver bulldog on it. I was wondering if you might know anything about it. The owner billed it as a Soviet item, but I haven't found anything on it yet.

I guess it’s a medal for dog breeding

Anonymous asked:

Hi! I have been investigating about Yanka and I found many references to her music's repercution in russian contemporanean culture, but not so much about her poetry. Didn't it have the same recognition as her music? It would be nice if you continue uploading soviet rock, your blog is awesome!

Thank you, we will!

I’m glad that my post encourage you to investigate about Yanka :)

There’re a plenty of problems with her works. Yanka was always against any publications, so we don’t have any of her poetry printed (may be there is something in some archives but).

Thus, I suppose, when people speak about Yanka’s music, they keep in mind poetry also (she created texts and music herself). Because her songs that’s all we have. 

I suddenly find out that you guys asked about Soviet/Russian rock. 

Well, I don’t know some good English sites about it (although Wikipedia has the article, and it’s not so bad). 

But if you are interested, we can make a few posts on this theme. Here I post a song - one of my favorite,  by Yanka Diaghileva, great musician of Soviet post-punk. 

(pure underground - mostly all rock in Soviet Union was prohibited)