Saint Petersburg Academy of Arts, Russia
Since the foundation of the Russian Imperial Academy of Arts, its education system has been mainly based on the study of the Renaissance culture. Italy, with its great art heritage, rich collections, and unforgettable nature was an inexhaustible source of inspiration for Russian masters, turned to it as to a center of European culture. In the 20th — early 21th centuries the St.-Petersburg academic school retains strong interest in the Renaissance art, despite all the changes occurring in contemporary art and the global review of traditions. A. A. Mylnikov, the greatest representative of St. Petersburg painters, turned repeatedly to the interpretation of Renaissance images, deriving from the painting by Giorgione, Titian, El Greco. Today St. Petersburg academic school is connected with art work of the following artists: O. A. Eremeev, A. S. Charkin, V. S. Pesikov, K. Lee, H. V. Savkuev, A. K. Bystrov, N. P. Fomin, S. N. Repin, A. V. Chuvin, B. D. Sveshnikov, V. A. Mylnikova, A. A. Pakhomov and others. These are the masters of the St.-Petersburg school of contemporary academic art in their different styles and art movements. The Renaissance art becomes some kind of a starting point for them. Modern masters interpret the Renaissance ideas in different ways. N. Blokhin, V. Mogilevtsev put an emphasis on strict academic drawing, brought to masterful perfection. L. Kirillova, Y. Behova, N. Ryzhikova are fascinated with quattrocento painting, while sculptors P. Shevchenko, I. Korneev are captivated by plastic discoveries of Donatello and Michelangelo. Renaissance motives are revealed in portraiture by Y. Kaluta, V. Borovik, E. Zubov and in landscape paintings by A. Bliok, N. Tsitsin, M. Atayants, M. Razdoburdin. There is no doubt, that in the works of almost each of the artists landscape images of Italy, painted from nature and memories, can be found. One of the most spectacular recent events was the exhibition “Inspired by Italy” in the Russian Academy Fine Arts Museum, which showed a retrospective of Russian artists’ Italian impressions from the 18th century to the present day. Recently, the I. Repin St. Petersburg State Academy Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture held a great number of exhibitions devoted to contemporary academic art in different Italian cities: Bologna, Venice, Florence.