The State Memorial and Natural Preserve "Museum-estate of Leo Tolstoy "Yasnaya Polyana"
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Exhibition: The Joy of Nature

afishaJuly 29 - August 27, 2017
Yasnaya Polyana Gallery 

The exhibition opens on July 28 at 17:00

The Joy of Nature exhibition of landscape paintings is a joint project of the Yasnaya Polyana Museum and a group of artists from Tula. The main part and the focus of the exhibition will be landscapes of Yasnaya Polyana from the museum‘s collection, such as works by the artists V.K. Byalynitsky-Birulya and S.N. Saltanov. Alongside with them, the exhibition wil feature paintings by the invited artists E.N. Zhidkov, S.A. Peredireev, I.V. Buzin, M.V. Levshin, and A.A. Chukin.


Leo Tolstoy‘s well-known words –“The purest joy is the joy of nature“ – prompted the title of the exhibition and express its main idea. For Tolstoy, nature was the highest wisdom, and the embodiment of moral ideals and true values. In his works, it becomes a witness to and participant in the characters‘ spiritual quest. Thus, nature helps Andrei Bolkonsky reconsider his life or even change it crucially, and becomes an impulse for his spiritual recovery in moments of crisis.

“The old oak, quite transfigured, spreading out a canopy of sappy dark-green foliage, stood rapt and slightly trembling in the rays of the evening sun. Neither gnarled fingers nor old scars nor old doubts and sorrows were any of them in evidence now. Through the hard century-old bark, even where there were no twigs, leaves had sprouted such as one could hardly believe the old veteran could have produced. "Yes, it is the same oak," thought Prince Andrew, and all at once he was seized by an unreasoning springtime feeling of joy and renewal.“ (War and Peace

What the great author expressed with words, a talented artist is able to show with paint – to tell by means of painting about the hope for the “merging of the soul of man with the soul of nature.” The artists whose works will be shown at the exhibition represent different artistic schools and creative unions. What unites them all is the understanding of and feeling for the world of nature that is so closely connected with the world of human emotions. They try and hear the voice of “living nature” just like Leo Tolstoy and his characters tried to do it.

Background information: 


In their work, Vitold Byalynitsky-Burilya (1872-1957) and Sergey Saltanov (1870-1917) continued and developed traditions of the 19th-century Russian poetic landscape. Their harmonious landscapes with elegant coloring present poetical meditations on the eternity of nature. An important role in the artists’ work belongs to the depiction of places related to Leo Tolstoy’s life and works. In 1928, Byalynitsky-Birulya created a series of landscapes of Yasnaya Polyana. One of them will be shown at the exhibition 

Sergey Saltanov was the first artist who created a whole gallery of landscapes of Yasnaya Polyana full of coziness and poetry. He was considered a singer of the praises of Yasnaya Polyana. Leo Tolstoy’s secretary Valentin Bulgakov wrote in his book Meeting with Artists: “Among the names that are very well known to each art historian, there is only one in my memoirs, which was known only to visitors to Yasnaya Polyana and other Tolstoy museums - Sergey Saltanov. I ask that we reevaluate the artistic legacy of this talented and original landscape painter whom I would like to call the Levitan of Yasnaya Polyana.”

The exhibition will last until August 27, 2017. It will be open from Tuesday to Sunday at 11:00 – 19:00 (the ticket Office is open till 18:00). Cost of an admission ticket: free of charge for visitors under 16; 15 rubles for a discounted ticket; and 30 rubles for a full-price ticket. Cost of a guided visit: 30 rubles for visitors under 16 and for a discounted ticket; and 45 rubles for a full-price ticket.  

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