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Abramtsevo Colony

The Oxford Companion to Western Art

David Jackson

Abramtsevo Colony, 

artistic commune established north of Moscow on the estate of the industrialist Savva Mamontov (1841–1918). Between the 1870s and the 1890s it was an important influence on the late 19th-century Slavic revival in its preservation and revival of national culture, antiquities, and indigenous art forms, particularly folk art, including a unique collection of everyday peasant objects. Many prominent Russian artists lived and worked on the estate, including Ilya Repin, Viktor Vasnetsov (1848–1926), Vasiley Polenov (1844–1927) and Yelena Polenova (1850–98), Mikhail Vrubel (1856–1910), Valentin Serov (1865–1911), and Mikhail Nesterov (1862–1942). The architects Viktor Gartman and Ivan Ropet designed a number of revivalist projects, some functional—a communal bathhouse, studios, workshops, a school and hospital for the local peasantry—others, like the fairy-tale hut on hen's legs, conceived in fun. The latter, along with the church of the Saviour (1880–2), an ambitious archaeological reconstruction in a purer 14th-century style, were designed and decorated by Vasnetsov. Working with local craftsmen the estate produced a variety of wares: furniture, ceramics, tableware, embroideries. A similar interest in national culture occurred at Princess Tenisheva's estate at Talashkino. The Abramtsevo estate is now a national museum.

David Jackson


Beloglazova, N., Abramtsevo (1981).Find this resource: