Monday, May 17, 2010

Folkloristic Varangians

The Vikings who went in the 9th and 10th centuries on the great rivers to Russia were called Varangians and are considered as important co-founders of the later Russian states. Here two interpretations by Russian painters who belonged to the avant-garde of their time.

Guests from Overseas (1899) by Nicholas Roerich (1874–1947).

Volga Song (1906) by Vassily Vassilyevich Kandinsky (1866-1944).

It’s interesting to observe that Roerich as well as Kandinsky abandoned the traditional forms of "realistic" history painting and came to a more ornamental and abstract style. They didn’t pretend to narrate history "as it has been", they show history more as a kind of folkloristic aesthetic heritage.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, my ancestors are the vikings, and some people here say, I'm looking somehow like a Russian... And I like Roerichs paintings!