City Lit Blog

Pushkin House and City Lit

Story added 4th Feb 2020

Landscape near Chuguevo by Ilya Repin

Pushkin House and City Lit

City Lit and the School of Humanities and Sciences are delighted to announce our new partnership with Pushkin House in Bloomsbury Square, to share in the celebration and championing of Russian Arts and Culture.

In Spring 2020 City Lit will host events for Pushkin House’s prestigious book prize for Russian literature, with a series of lectures by shortlisted authors in John Lyon’s Theatre, Keeley Street.  In addition to the Book Prize Lectures, our art history team have developed new courses in Russian Art History delivered at Pushkin House, From Royalty to Revolution: Russian Art study day on the 28th March 2020, and Art of the Russian Revolution on 30th March 2020.  

Pushkin House is the oldest independently funded, non-governmental UK charity specialising in Russian Culture.  The charity was established in 1954 by Russian emigres and British enthusiasts to celebrate, explore and share aspects of Russian culture.  

We are delighted to team up with Pushkin House to co-host these events and courses, and join them in championing learning about Russian arts, literature, cinema and cultural history.

For more information and to book on our Pushkin House courses:

  • From Royalty to Revolution Russian Art
    Saturday 28 March 2020, 10:30-16:30, 
    Pushkin House, 5a Bloomsbury Square, London WC1A 2TA
    This weekend art history study day covers the period from in Russian art from the mid-nineteenth century through to 1917. Whilst the eighteenth century saw the westernisation of Russia, the nineteenth ushered in a series of artistic movements that drew on Russian folklore, national tradition, and craft. By 1870, the Peredvizhniki or 'Wanderers' were actively challenging the Academy and striving for social change and realism in painting. Explore their innovations through artists like Ilya Repin, Alexei Savrasov, and Fyodor Vasilyev and then trace how they themselves were superseded in 1898 by the new Mir iskusstva 'World of Art'. The latter included Mikhail Vrubel, Nesterov, Levitan, and Diaghilev and drew on international movements like Art Nouveau and Rococo artists like Watteau. The years prior to the 1917 Russian Revolution saw some of the most avant-garde art practices in Europe. Key patrons like Sergei Shchukin and Ivan Morozov built collections and artists were divided between following the European path or asserting an art with a more Russian aesthetic. Practitioners included Natalia Goncharova, Kandinsky, Chagall, and Malevich, creator of Suprematism and the infamous ‘Black Square.’

  • Art of the Russian Revolution
    Monday 30 March 2020, 19:00-21:00, 
    Pushkin House, 5a Bloomsbury Square, London WC1A 2TA
    After the assassination of the Russian royal family, artists were encouraged to embrace Communism by moving away from bourgeois traditions of painting in oil towards graphic design and collaborative authorship. Trace the development of Constructivism and key practitioners like El Lissitzky, Tatlin, and Rodchenko (including their impact on the Bauhaus). In this evening art history class we also explore how a shift to Soviet Socialist Realism under Stalin led to the sidelining of art for art’s sake and yet how artists like Alexander Deineka, Brodsky, Petrov-Vodkin, and others continued to innovate.

Russion Royalty Pushkin House

 Zinaida Yusupova by V.Serov (1900-1902)


Pushkin House, 5a Bloomsbury Square, London WC1A 2TA