Date
Tuesday 23 September 2014 - 00:00 to Monday 01 December 2014 - 00:00
Location
The Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow

The «Oscar Wilde. Aubrey Beardsley. A Russian Perspective» exhibition is being held as part of the UK-Russia Year of Culture 2014 celebrations. The exhibition embodies a unique blend of the two cultures at work. Over 150 art pieces will be on display at the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, including Aubrey Beardsley’s drawings and his series of prints for Oscar Wilde’s Salome. Among other exhibits are works by Russian Beardsley followers and admirers, Russian and British art magazines with pieces by Beardsley, Wilde and their followers; as well as books by Oscar Wilde, autographed works, photographs and archive materials.

Oscar Wilde’s exquisite works gave a larger audience an opportunity to learn about the ideas of Aestheticism. Aubrey Beardsley’s intricate illustrations inspired the creators behind the first Russian art magazines. In Russia, as well as in Europe, Oscar Wilde was seen as a leading figure of the British Aesthetic movement. The artist’s unique personality charmed the public; his writing — plays, essays and famous paradoxes — had no less mesmerizing an effect. Coined by Wilde and Beardsley, the image of a dandy turned into a signature for a number of artistic movements. They drew inspiration from the ‘art for art’s sake’ concept, the Silver Age of Russian Art being one of the greatest examples of its realisation.

In Russia, Wilde and Beardsley’s artistic aesthetics were a major influence on the formation of the style and concept of the Mir Iskusstva (World of Art) movement in St. Petersburg in the 1890 s. However, the two artists reached their peak in popularity in Russia in Moscow in the 1900 s. At the time, Scorpion and Grif publishing houses printed Oscar Wilde’s major works, along with the works of Russian decadent poets. Scorpion and the Vesy literary magazine played a greater role in the development of the Moscow Beardsley-inspired artistic community. Beardsley’s sophisticated arabesques influenced artists such as Konstantin Somov, Leon Bakst, Nikolay Feofilaktov, Miss (Anna Remizova-Vasileva), Sergei Lodygin, and Dmitriy Mitrokhin.

Educational programme

  • 2 October, 19:00
    Oscar Wilde, his life, works and philosophy
    Alexander Livergant, editor-in-chief of Foreign Literature magazine and Oscar Wilde’s biographer
    Centre of Aesthetic Education ‘Museyon’, main hall, Kolymazhny lane, 6
    Registration is closed
  • 11 October, 16:00
    Russian Berdsleism
    Sofia Chapkina-Ruga, author and art historian
    Department of Private Collections, Lecture hall, Volkhonka St., 8
    Registration is closed
  • 16 October, 19:00
    Aestheticism and Decadence
    Andrey Astvatsaturov, Associate Professor in Foreign Literature (St Petersburg State University), head of Literature program in Smolny University, author of the bestseller Nude people (2009)
    Centre of Aesthetic Education ‘Museyon’, main hall, Kolymazhny lane, 6
    Registration is closed
  • 23 October, 19:00
    Aubrey Beardsley’s influence on the Glasgow Style
    Alison Brown, curator for European Decorative Art at Glasgow Museums
    Centre of Aesthetic Education ‘Museyon’, main hall, Kolymazhny lane, 6
    Registration is closed
  • 30 October, 19:00
    British Wagnerism and music’s role in representations of sexuality, gender, national identity, social class and anti-Semitism in the work of Aubrey Beardsley
    Emma Sutton, Professor of St Andrews University (Scotland)
    Lecture in English with a simultaneous translation
    Centre of Aesthetic Education ‘Museyon’, main hall, Kolymazhny lane, 6
    Registration is closed
  • 6 November, 19:00
    Victorian Book illustration
    Tatiana Tyutvinova, art historian and senior curator for prints and drawings at the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts
    Centre of Aesthetic Education ‘Museyon’, main hall, Kolymazhny lane, 6
    Registration
  • 7 November, 19:00
    «The life and the times of Oscar Wilde and his influence on the arts. A view from Britain»
    Meeting with Jan Latham Koenig, Chief Conductor and a Chair of the Art Board of «Novaya Opera» Theatre.
    Lecture Hall of the Private Collection Gallery, the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts. Lecture in English
    Registration
  • 13 November, 19:00
    Richard Strauss and Salome productions
    Roman Nasonov, professor of Moscow Conservatoire
    Centre of Aesthetic Education ‘Museyon’, main hall, Kolymazhny lane, 6
    Registration
  • 15 November, 12:00
    Dandy-style and the code of behaviour in European culture in XIX — XX centuries
    Olga Vainshtein, senior researcher in the Russian State University for the Humanities (RGGU), author
    Centre of Aesthetic Education ‘Museyon’, main hall, Kolymazhny lane, 6
    In partnership with Prosvetitel Award
    Registration
  • 27 November, 19:00
    Oscar Wilde in Film
    Mikhail Ratgauz, film critic, editor-in-chief of Colta.ru and Openspace.ru
    Centre of Aesthetic Education ‘Museyon’, main hall, Kolymazhny lane, 6
    Registration

More information and registration links on the Pushkin Museum website.