Skip to content

	Image: The Winter Palace in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Russia: collectors, art and music of the early 20th century

The emergence of the Russian avant-garde

After almost two centuries of French influence in Russia, the first decades of the 20th century saw and heard the development of a visual and performance culture drawing upon the sights and sounds of native Russia. In this series we look at the collections of Sergei Shchukin and Ivan Morozov, some of the artists they collected, performances and composers of the time and the Russian avant garde.

Image: The Winter Palace in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Saturdays 20 October, 3 and 24 November 2018, 10.30am

Single session:
$45 non-member
$35 member

Full series:
$120 non-member
$90 member

Bookings and enquiries: 02 9225 1878


Become a member

Three full working days (Mon–Fri) notice is required to qualify for a refund. All refunds attract an administration charge of 25% of the ticket price(s) with a minimum charge of $5. With subscription tickets there are no refunds for single sessions, unless a session is cancelled. Not negotiable.

Duration 2 hours
Location: Domain Theatre

Related exhibition: Masters of modern art from the Hermitage

Roger Benjamin

Shchukin, Morozov, and the Francophile foundations of Russian avant-garde art
Roger Benjamin

Two great Russian collectors, Sergei Shchukin and Ivan Morozov, galvanised the Moscow art scene by placing the finest examples of French avant-garde art before the emerging generation of young Russian artists. Shchukin, whose collections of Gauguin, Matisse and Picasso were the finest in the world, opened his Trubetskoy Palace to the public each Sunday. With the Bolshevik Revolution the collections were nationalised and Shchukin retired to France a broken man.

Gauguin, Cézanne, and Cézannism in Paris and Moscow
Roger Benjamin

S. I. Shchukin bought his first Monet – a view of Belle-Ile ¬ – in 1898. He went on to collect thirteen Monets before discovering Gauguin and Cézanne, then the two most influential artists in Paris. The colour-fields of Fauvism drew on Gauguin’s example, while the Cubists extrapolated from Cezanne’s collapse of perspective. Thanks to Shchukin, young Russian Fauves and Cubo-Futurists could study both first-hand in Moscow.



Saturday 20 October 2018 10:30am – 12:30pm

Lorraine Kypiotis and Andy Bromberger

Diaghilev, Stravinsky and the Ballets Russes
Lorraine Kypiotis

“Of all the wonders that the world had to offer, only art promised immortality” – Sergei Diaghilev. In the early 20th century, the impresario Diaghilev arrived in Paris with a troupe of dancers recruited from the imperial ballet of St Petersburg. The troupe, who became known as the Ballets Russes went on to conquer Paris and then the rest of Europe. The pieces that were performed were new and were set among magnificent designs by Leon Bakst and other artists.

Russian composers
Andy Bromberger

Russian composers Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971), Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953) and Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-43) left their homeland before or during the Russian Revolution. The impact these three inspirational composers had on musical life in both their native country, their adopted homes and the musical world in general is worthy of exploration.



Saturday 3 November 2018 10:30am – 12:30pm

Peter Kohane and Peter Raissis

St Petersburg: the city and its monuments
Peter Kohane

This talk explores the architecture of St Petersburg and the paintings in the current exhibition. We begin by referring to the classical order of the city, which is evident in its adorned buildings, including the the Winter Palace (the Hermitage). The classical tradition underscores a connection between St Petersburg and Helsinki. The lecture also discusses the richly embellished stair hall of the Hermitage. We then look to the twentieth century rejection of ornament in architecture. This prompts a discussion of key paintings in the exhibition, which assume the role of representing the inner significance of people and nature. The most compelling modern architectural scheme is Tatlin’s project for the Monument to the Third International (1919–20).

The exhibition: 'Masters of modern art from the Hermitage’
Peter Raissis

Join AGNSW’s Curator of European Prints, Drawings and Watercolours Peter Raissis as he provides an overview of the exhibition Masters of modern art from the Hermitage from a curatorial perspective and how this exhibition documents the seismic shifts that took place in European painting in the years after 1900 and encapsulates a defining moment in art history.



Saturday 24 November 2018 10:30am – 12:30pm