Soviet Impressionist Painting
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Soviet Realist art of the 1930s to 1980s was naturalistic, bold, colourful, and exciting. Though it is now considered the 20th century's major Realist school of painting, during its heyday, thanks to the politics of the Cold War, the treasures of Soviet artists remained hidden, often, if not considered politically correct, languishing for years in artists' studios. Now percipient and adventurous art historians are redressing the balance and focussing on the Soviet Impressionist paintings that are passing through the sale rooms of Europe and North America, and are finding their way in to museums in the West.
The subject matter of these vibrant paintings is the intimate life of the Soviet man, woman and child: at work in field, factory, school and mine, and at home or at play. The policy-makers dictated the message: art should be readily understood and appreciated by the people, reflecting their hopes and aspirations for themselves and their efforts.
Together, the stunning illustrations and highly perceptive, fully up-to-date text serve to make Soviet Impressionist Painting a true testament to this powerful and vibrant school of art.
Having visited the former Soviet Union thirty times and visited some four hundred artists' studios, Dr. Vern Swanson is well qualified to write on the subject. He is the author of numerous books, catalogues and articles on 19th-century classical artists, American and Utah realist art, as well as on Soviet painting. His book Hidden Treasures: Russian and Soviet Impressionism 1930s-1970s was published in 1994.