"The Magic Carpet" by Russian-born Victor Vasnetsov depicts a man placidly hovering on an oriental rug, flanked by three owls, above an eerie, moonlit landscape. Painted in 1880, it evidences the influence that Russian fairytales (in which magic carpets figure heavily) had on Russian painters and illustrators of the time.
These stories were not only, as is often thought, used in traditional crafts like embroidery, lacquer work and embroidery. Nineteenth century artists blended imagery from fairytales and legends with references to what was happening politically, economically and socially in Russia and the rest of the world--creating a unique picture of the Russian psyche. An engaging survey of an under-explored phenomenon, "Russian Legends, Folktales and Fairytales" includes more than 80 works by Vasnetsov, Nicholas Roerich, Ivan Bilibin, Vasili Kandinsky, Elena Polenova and Michail Vroebel alongside summaries of the depicted fairytales. Some of the works included are book illustrations, others large paintings on canvas. A great resource for understanding how and why Russian artists utilized fairytale imagery, this book also serves as an introduction to the repeating themes and humor in the stories.Text by David Jackson, Patty Wageman, Ellen Rutten, Marija Valjaeva, Sijbolt Noorda."Legends, folk tales and fairy tales all had a profound impact on Russian painting of the nineteenth and early twentieth century. The Russian artists who dealt with these subjects chose sometimes to paint large canvases in which the greatness and grandeur of the Russian countryside fuses with the magical world of the imagination. The paintings of Viktor Vasnetsov, Nikolai Roerikh, and Mikhail Vrubel, the illustrations of Ivan Bilibin and Elena Polenova, and the works of Vasily Kandinsky register most impressively the worlds of fantasy and the imagination." "This book presents more than 90 illustrations of these fascinating works, while the essays shed interesting light on how these stories contributed to and influenced the visual arts. The book also contains summaries of the fairy tales depicted in these paintings, whereby the reader is given an overview of the major Russian folk tales."--BOOK JACKET.
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