Actual Problems of Theory and History of Art

We regret to let you know that Tatiana Il’ina honorary professor of Saint-Petersburg State University died on 26th of October at the age of 86. Tatiana Il’ina was the leader of Saint-Petersburg University school of art history, a renowned scholar who made an outstanding contribution to the studies of 18th-century Russian art, a wonderful teacher who brought up several generations of researchers, the author of numerous art history textbooks loved by the students, the former head of the Department of Art History. Tatiana Il’ina graduated from Leningrad State University in 1956. After defending PhD on medieval Russian art (“Decoration of Medieval Russian Books. 12th-15th centuries. Novgorod and Pskov”) she embarked on a study of Russian art of the 18th century — an epoch which was then commonly disregarded. In her postdoctoral research project she examined biography and art of mid-18th-century Russia artist Ivan Vishniakov. Consistently applying traditional method of scrupulous archival research, she pioneered technological expertise combining it with in-depth research of stylistics and iconography, thus opening up entirely new perspectives. These methods demanding extraordinary discipline of scientific thinking did not supplant in her monographs sensitive highly emotional approach to art. That is why her lectures were admired not only by students of Art History Department, but also by people of artistic professions. More than half a century she was a lecturer in Saint-Petersburg Conservatory of N.A. Rimsky-Korsakov. Tati’ana Il’ina was in charge of the History of Art Department at the Institute of History of Saint-Petersburg State University for 15 years. She surrounded her students with loving care and will forever remain for them a shining example.