Currently, I am reading the biographies of Peter and Great and Catherine the Great by Robert Massey.
These books have helped me understand more fully the work of the Russian Itinerates: The Masters of Russian Realism. Ivan Kramskoi was one of the founders of this group and the instructor of Ilya Repin:
the most famous member of the group. The paintings below are examples of Kramskoi's work.
This group turned to a more democratic view and focused on sincerely depicting the real life around them. Studying about them made me wonder how that could be done in our time. What is the place for
visual art in the time of the Occupy Movement, Financial crisis, income inequity, environmental degradation? Can artists assist in elevating thought and bring more compassion and humanity to life?