Serfdom, Society, and the Arts in Imperial Russia: The Pleasure and the Power

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Yale University Press, Feb 22, 2008 - Art - 586 pages
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Serf-era and provincial Russia heralded the spectacular turn in cultural history that began in the 1860s. Examining the role of arts and artists in society's value system, Richard Stites explores this shift in a groundbreaking history of visual and performing arts in the last decades of serfdom. Provincial town and manor house engaged the culture of Moscow and St. Petersburg while thousands of serfs and ex-serfs created or performed. Mikhail Glinka raised Russian music to new levels and Anton Rubinstein struggled to found a conservatory. Long before the itinerants, painters explored town and country in genre scenes of everyday life. Serf actors on loan from their masters brought naturalistic acting from provincial theaters to the imperial stages. Stites's richly detailed book offers new perspectives on the origins of Russia's nineteenth-century artistic prowess.

 

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Contents

Whats in a Title?
1
Part I Cultural and Social Terrains
11
Part II Music of the Spheres
51
Part III Empire of Performance
127
Part IV Pictures at an Exhibition
281
Part V Finale and Overture
381
List of Abbreviations
427
Notes
431
Bibliography
501
Index
549
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About the author (2008)

Richard Stites is Distinguished Professor of International Studies at the School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University.

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