© The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.
This Learning Collection is based on the virtual exhibit, Horizons: Canadian and Russian Landscape Painting (1860-1940). Russian painting generally evokes the tradition of icons or the avant-garde movement of the early twentieth century, whereas Canadian painting is often thought of as little more than regionalist expression. But these views are rather limited and overlook the rapport between the two "schools of painting." In this regard, landscape painting reveals the similarities between the two.
The approaches to landscape by Canadian and Russian painters show parallels that go beyond the geographic and climatic features shared by the two countries. It is probable that the immensity of their territory affected the way the painters imagined and viewed the world around them. From 1860 to 1940, the artists who painted landscapes shared common interests, but the way they expressed these interests sometimes differed radically.
Whether rural or urban, intimate or grand, these works reveal not only how artists appropriated the land around them, but also how they understood and depicted it