The Peredvizhniki (Russian: Передви́жники,The Partnership of Traveling Art Exhibitions), is an association of Russian artists that arose in the last third of the 19th century and existed until 1923. In aesthetic terms, the Partnership participants, or Wanderers, until the 1890s purposefully opposed themselves to academics. They claimed to be inspired by Narodism. By organizing traveling exhibitions, the Wanderers conducted active educational activities and ensured the marketing of their works; The economic life of the Partnership was built on cooperative principles.

The Peredvizhniki. often called The Wanderers or The Itinerants, were a group of Russian realist artists who formed an artists’ cooperative in protest of academic restrictions; it evolved into the Society for Travelling Art Exhibitions in 1870.

Artistic principles
The paintings of the Wanderers were characterized by an exacerbated psychologism, a social orientation, a high typing skill, realism bordering on naturalism, a tragic view of reality in general. The leading style in the art of the Wanderers was realism.

In 1863 a group of fourteen students decided to leave the Imperial Academy of Arts. The students found the rules of the Academy constraining; the teachers were conservative and there was a strict separation between high and low art. In an effort to bring art to the people, the students formed an independent artistic society; The Petersburg Cooperative of Artists (Artel). In 1870, this organization was largely succeeded by the Association of Travelling Art Exhibits (Peredvizhniki) to give people from the provinces a chance to follow the achievements of Russian Art, and to teach people to appreciate art. The society maintained independence from state support and brought the art, which illustrated the contemporary life of the people from Moscow and Saint Petersburg, to the provinces.

From 1871 to 1923, the society arranged 48 mobile exhibitions in St. Petersburg and Moscow, after which they were shown in Kyiv, Kharkov, Kazan, Oryol, Riga, Odessa and other cities.

The reform of the Imperial Academy of Arts was also an integral part of educational reforms. In 1859, a new charter of the Academy was adopted, which introduced a number of progressive changes to its work. Nevertheless, conservative approaches in the form of holding a competition for a large gold medal led to conflict: on November 9, 1863, the 14 most outstanding students of the Imperial Academy of Arts admitted to the competition for the first gold medal asked the Council of the Academy to replace the competition task (painting on to a given plot from Scandinavian mythology “The feast of the god Odin in Valhalla») On a free assignment – writing a picture on a theme chosen by the artist himself. Upon the refusal of the Council, all 14 people left the Academy. This event went down in history as the “ Riot of Fourteen.” It was they who organized the ” St. Petersburg Artel of Artists ” later, in 1870, some of its members entered the “Partnership of Traveling Art Exhibitions”.
The Artel was the first attempt to form an independent association of artists in Russia. Artel’s experience was taken into account when creating the Partnership.

The idea of uniting Moscow and St. Petersburg artists on the basis of creating a traveling exhibition was set forth in a letter from a group of Moscow artists to their colleagues at the St. Petersburg Artel of Artists. The artel, except for I. Kramskoy and K. Lemokh, did not accept the idea of creating the Partnership, but other Petersburg artists who came to the “Thursdays” in the Artel warmly supported it. In September 1870, the founders of the Partnership (14 people) filed a petition with the Minister of the Interior A. E. Timashevwith the request to approve the draft charter of the Partnership. On November 2, 1870, the charter was approved. Section 1 of the charter proclaimed: “The partnership aims to: arrange… in all cities of the empire traveling art exhibitions in the form of: a) providing the inhabitants of the provinces with the opportunity to get acquainted with Russian art… b) developing a love of art in society; c) relief for artists selling their works. ” The charter determined that the affairs of the Partnership are managed by the general meeting of its members and the board where all issues are decided by voting (decisions are made by a majority of votes); membership in the Partnership is carried out by voting at a general meeting. The charter remained unchanged for 18 years, until April 1890, when a new charter was adopted, according to which the democratic principles of decision-making in the Partnership were significantly narrowed .

The first exhibition of the Partnership was opened in St. Petersburg on November 29 (December 11), 1871 in the building of the Academy of Arts. The exhibition featured the works of 16 artists . After Petersburg, the exhibition was exhibited in Moscow, Kiev and Kharkov. A total of 82 works by 20 artists were shown. Particularly successful at the exhibition were “The Rooks Have Arrived ”, a picture by N. N. Ge “ Peter I interrogates Tsarevich Alexei Petrovich in Peterhof ”, a sculpture by M. M. Antokolsky “Ivan the Terrible”. In general, the exhibition was successful and became a significant event in the cultural life of Russia. The art of the Wanderers was in demand in Russian society. A prominent role in the development of the art of the Wanderers was played by the famous public figure, art researcher and critic V.V. Stasov; the collector and philanthropist P. M. Tretyakov, acquiring the works of the Wanderers in his gallery, provided them with important material and moral support. Many of the works of the Wanderers were commissioned by Pavel Mikhailovich Tretyakov. For half a century of its existence, the Partnership held 47 traveling exhibitions. In addition to annual exhibitions, the Partnership arranged parallel exhibitions for cities where the main exhibitions did not fall. These exhibitions were composed of the works of the Wanderers not sold at major exhibitions. As such works accumulated, an exhibition was organized. The geography of showing parallel exhibitions was more extensive than that of the main exhibitions. So, the first parallel exhibition was shown in 12 cities of Russia.

Society of itinerant artistic exhibitions
The Society of Traveling Art Exhibitions followed him in Moscow after this dissolution. But it no longer has the community character of artel. Vassili Perov, Grigori Miassoïedov, Illarion Prianichnikov, Vladimir Makovski and Alexei Savrasov take this initiative from its creation, thanks to the financial support of Tretyakov, inNovember 1870. The painters of the old artel of Saint Petersburg then join them, including Ivan Kramskoy. We also find among them Ivan Chichkin, and a propagandist of the religious ideas of Leon Tolstoy, Nikolai Gay. The purpose of this society is twofold: to decentralize artistic life outside the two Russian capitals and, moreover, to spread art throughout the Empire thanks to its humanitarian content. They circulate in all the big cities, from where the name of Ambulants.

The November 29, 1871, the first exhibition is organized in Saint Petersburg. It achieved a success which ensured their popularity. The association will have a total of 109 active members and 440 participants. From 1871 to 1923, the company organized 48 exhibitions in Saint Petersburg and Moscow, which were then shown in Kiev, Kharkov, Kazan, Orel, Riga, Odessa and in other cities.

Itinerants ensure their independence and do not receive state aid.

It is Ivan Kramskoi (1837-1887) who is the real theorist of the group. His conception of art is based on ideas from Nikolai Chernyshevsky, who was himself influenced by Ludwig Feuerbach. For Chernyshevsky, art must interpret reality, explain it. Its purpose is to contribute to the happiness of man by revealing to him the meaning of his life. In this utilitarian vision, the content of the work is more important than its form. Without going to extreme or revolutionary conclusions, like those, for example, of a Varfolomeï Zaïtsev, epigone of popular realism, the itinerants also think that art must be at the service of the people.

Rejection of aesthetic idealism
Kramskoï thinks that it is essential not to be taken in by the artifices of pure beauty and that an ideological sense must be put into art. The Greek example makes him consider that as soon as he ceases to be guided by the ideals of religion, he degenerates and becomes mannered, then dies out. This is also what happened, according to him, during the Renaissance in Italy and then in the Netherlands. For itinerants, the artist must not create works emptied of social content.

Rejection of the academic routine
The academic routine is also subject to indignation for Kramskoi. He did not hesitate to invoke Proudhon who wanted the closure of the academies and the opening of free schools. The Academy must be destroyed to save art. He still refers to Greek art, which he thinks had formed spontaneously. The questioning of academic education provides for Kramskoy, the opportunity to escape to conformism in which art is in the middle of the xix th century.

Rejection of foreign influences
The Academy liked the repetition of models born with the Renaissance. Itinerants do not pretend to reject the ideals of the past, but refuse to reproduce them, because each artistic movement is specific to a given era. The critic Stassov bows before the art of Goya, Ivan Kramskoi is exalted for that of Vélasquez. But in the name of realism, the itinerants remain impervious to the various currents of Western painting, heirs of the Renaissance. Kramskoi, who visited the Paris Salon in 1876, wrote to Tretyakov that impressionism is an interesting movement and that the future belongs to him,of some and calls it blur 。

Art as an apostolate
The Russian painters of the group of itinerants are very often possessed of missionary zeal. The painter is a prophet, his art is sacred: it is a deeply Russian attitude. It is an attitude of self-giving to art that characterizes the very particular climate that prevailed among these promoters.

Homelessness and social realism
Traveling exhibitions in major Russian cities also had an educational purpose, and the desire was to make art more accessible to a large audience. These exhibitions are an opportunity to roam the countryside to paint the people, especially Russian peasants. The itinerant painters mainly practiced a genre painting with a social and historical character: the portrait, the Russian landscape and few still lifes. The itinerants took an interest in the condition of the Russian people and highlighted the glaring inequalities at the time. The most radical of them then developed what was known as critical realism.

Before them, art was for many only a vague notion reserved for the upper aristocracy. The simple and accessible language of the itinerants made it more accessible.

Influence of literary critics
Peredvizhniki were influenced by the public views of the literary critics Vissarion Belinsky and Nikolai Chernyshevsky, both of whom espoused liberal ideas. Belinsky thought that literature and art should attribute a social and moral responsibility. Like most Slavophiles, Chernyshevsky ardently supported the emancipation of serfs, which was finally realized in the reform of 1861. He viewed press censorship, serfdom, and capital punishment as Western influences. Because of his political activism, officials prohibited publication of any of his writing, including his dissertation; but it eventually found its way to the artworld of nineteenth-century Russia. In 1863, almost immediately after the emancipation of serfs, Chernyshevsky’s goals were realized with the help of Peredvizhniki, who took the pervasive Slavophile-populist idea that Russia had a distinguishable, modest, inner beauty of its own and worked out how to display it on canvas.

Subjects of the paintings
Peredvizhniki portrayed the many-sided aspects of social life, often critical of inequities and injustices. But their art showed not only poverty but also the beauty of the folk way of life; not only suffering but also fortitude and strength of characters. Peredvizhniki condemned the Russian aristocratic orders and autocratic government in their humanistic art. They portrayed the emancipation movement of Russian people with empathy (The Arrest of Propagandist; Refuse from Confession; Not Expected by Ilya Yefimovich Repin). They portrayed social-urban life, and later used historic art to depict the common people (The Morning of the Execution of Streltsy by Vasily Surikov).

During their blossoming (1870–1890), the Peredvizhniki society developed an increasingly wider scope, with more natural and free images. In contrast to the traditional dark palette of the time, they chose a lighter palette, with a freer manner in their technique. They worked for naturalness in their images, and the depiction of people’s relationship with their surroundings. The society united most of the highly talented artists of the country. Among Peredvizhniki there were artists of Ukraine, Latvia, and Armenia. The society also showed the work of Mark Antokolski, Vasili Vereshchagin, and Andrei Ryabushkin. The work of the critic and democrat Vladimir Stasov was important for the development of Peredvizhniki’s art. Pavel Mikhailovich Tretyakov showed the work of these artists in his gallery and gave them important material and moral support.

Religious painting
The place given to religious themes by artists partly close to revolutionaries may be surprising. But Orthodox Christianity deeply marked the Russian intelligentsia. According to Nicolas Berdiaev, the Russian remains faithful to his religion in his very revolt. Kramskoï, Gay, Repine, leaders of the Ambulants, expressed their religious sensitivity. The Christ they are going to represent is no longer a Christ in majesty, the Christ Pantocrator of icons, but a man overwhelmed with pain, betrayed, flouted.

Alexander Ivanov (1806-1856) must be cited as a precursor, with his Apparition of Christ to the people, on which he worked for 25 years and which he finished in 1857. The Scenes of Holy History produced in the 1850s were already regrowing formally the academism of the Academy and claimed the artist’s independence. But he died before the dissent of 1863, which marked the beginning of the Ambulants.

Nikolai Gay (1832-1894), after his trips to Italy in 1857 and 1867, found himself isolated, away from the social problems of his time, because of his feeling for the tragic and his religious exaltation. He chose as the main theme of his work the life of Christ, his passion, his condemnation. His first religious painting, The Last Supper, in 1863, provoked a lively controversy. Saltykov-Chtchedrine and Léon Tolstoï are enthusiastic and cite him as a model. Gay’s refusal to divinize Christ makes it possible, according to these two authors, to deeply feel his humanity. Tolstoy even claims that Gay found the real key to Christianity by humanizing Jesus Christ.Fyodor Dostoyevsky, on the other hand, before a Last Supper where Gay, in front of his ordinary characters assembled for dinner, wonders where the eighteen centuries of Christianity have gone. For him everything is false in Gay, there is no historical truth and no more therefore realism.

After the Last Supper, Gay suffered a complete failure with a Resurrection. He then turned to historical subjects and settled in Saint Petersburg. His painting Peter the Great questioning Tsarevich Alexis at Peterhof earned him a resounding success. It is a historical picture, but it is also, according to Valentine Marcadé, a replica of the Gospel: Christ before Pontius Pilate.

After several failures, he retired to the countryside in 1873 and broke with the Ambulants. It was his friendship for Leon Tolstoy that brought him back to painting ten years later. Tolstoy liked to see his own ideas about Christianity take shape in the works of Gay. In 1894 Gay completed a Crucifixion. For Louis Réau, this work reflects a harmful influence of Leon Tolstoy on the painter leading the latter to disregard formal beauty, incompatible with spiritual beauty. In the 1892 version, the pose of the Crucified who slipped and curled up is mind-blowing and recalls, according to Louis Réau, that of the Retable d’Issenheim by Matthias Grünewald.

For the partisans of a realistic painting, the expressionism of Gay shocked by its excess and the exacerbation of the feelings. For Tolstoy, the general public demands the icons of Christ, who can be prayed, and Gay offers them a Christ in the form of a real man, which leads to disappointment and dissatisfaction.

The whole work of Ivan Kramskoy (1837-1887) is dominated by the figure of Christ. The painter represents him in his painting Christ in the desert in a state of total dereliction, doomed to loneliness and human cruelty.

Ilia Répine (1844-1930) considered religion as the driving force of art, because it is from it that the highest ideals come. His most famous paintings are not, however, of religious inspiration, except the Religious Procession in the province of Kursk, which is rather “an overall picture of the life of the people” in the 1880s.

Viktor Vasnetsov (1848-1926) is a fashionable religious painter who is entrusted with the creation of the frescoes in Saint-Vladimir Cathedral in Kiev. His goal was to regenerate sacred art but, notes Valentine Marcadé, his achievements are much lower than his designs. However, his Kiev frescoes are celebrated in Russia and even abroad. It was a humanized Byzantine style. It was only later that we realized that the compromise between old and new religion was not a solution. His paintings of legends move feelings more (like that of The Bogatyrs).

Mikhail Nesterov (1862-1942) enjoys great enthusiasm from the Russian public for his work. He manages to make the atmospheres of monastic life. His work, however, is closer to the sentimentality of legends than to true mysticism, notes Valentine Marcadé. But the fact remains that he is an exquisite landscaper. No one has better than him, Louis Réau points out, translates the perpetual concern of his wanderers on pilgrimages, the poetry of monastic sites.

The itinerants all wanted to breathe new life into sacred art. According to Valentine Marcadé, their interpretation lacked grandeur, scale and the capacity to make beauty mystical.

Social realistic painting
For the philosopher and revolutionary Nikolai Chernyshevsky, the greatest beauty is that which man meets in life and not the beauty created by art. The role of art is to faithfully copy reality, including its inequalities and social biases. The often revolting rawness of reality must be shown to the people to give them disgust. The great artist for the itinerants is not the one who paints the best but the one who most eloquently denounces the abuses, the corruption of the rich, the drunkenness of the popes and peasants.

Social inequalities are thus a theme that itinerants like to develop. Grigori Miassoïedov in The Zemstvo Lunch surprises a street scene during the interruption of the session of this provincial council. The members of the assembly eat and drink to the full while the peasants are on the street, sitting on the ground, in the dust, munching on some crusts. Vassili Maximov spent his childhood in rural Russia, represented for example in Everything is in the past. Konstantin Savitsky takes as heroes, not individuals, but groups of task workers as in his impressive project entitled:Repair work on the railway.

The landscape
Landscape painting flourished in the 1870s and 1880s. Peredvizhniki painted mainly landscapes; some, like Polenov, used plein air technique. Two painters, Ivan Shishkin and Isaak Levitan, painted only landscapes of Russia. Shishkin is still considered to be the Russian “Singer of forest”, while Levitan’s landscapes are famous for their intense moods. The Russian landscape gained importance as a national icon after Peredvizhniki.

Nature occupies an important place in Russian art. Whether in music, literature or painting, the artists voluptuously describe their great Russia. They differ in this from artists from other countries. It is Alexei Savrasov, with his painting Les freux sont de retour, which occupies the place of honor, according to many art critics, including Valentine Marcadé. Vassili Polenov stands out with his urban landscape of Moscow, a courtyard of a house covered with grass and crossed by chickens: Courtyard in Moscow. Ivan Aïvazovski devoted no less than 6,000 paintings to the Black Sea. Kouïndjihas been given immense prestige thanks to its boulaie. Chichkine paints mainly forests and trees: pines, oaks, birches, undergrowth and the deep forest. Levitan is close to the writer Chekhov, his friend. His landscapes are all of melancholy, charm, tenderness. Its name embodies an attractive conception of painting devoid of any exterior effect.

Peredvizhniki painted landscapes to explore the beauty of their own country and encourage ordinary people to love and preserve it. Levitan once said, “I imagine such a gracefulness in our Russian land – overflowing rivers bringing everything back to life. There is no country more beautiful than Russia! There can be a true landscapist only in Russia”. Peredvizhniki gave a national character to landscapes, so people of other nations could recognize Russian landscape. The landscapes of Peredvizhniki are the symbolic embodiments of Russian nationality.

The portrait is the surest way for the artist to earn money. The other subjects are more difficult to sell. The members of the imperial family also place orders and the high dignitaries imitate them. Collectors, such as the Tretyakov brothers, set out to create a portrait of famous people of the time: scientists, artists, writers. Ivan Kramskoï, Nikolaï Gay, Vassili Perov or Ilia Répine realize them. The best successes are among all these works, those of Répine, according to art critic Valentine Marcadé. His portraits are often closer to satire than to poem. We think of that of Modeste Moussorgskisome time before his death. But this is not always the case, and certain portraits of his daughters, Vera and Nadezhda, or of his wife, are bathed in light with a keen sense of poetry.

Historical painting
The most gifted of the itinerants was undoubtedly Ilia Repin, but Vassili Sourikov, Nikolaï Nevrev and later Vassili Verechtchaguine also turned to subjects likely to exalt the greatness of Russia through its history.

Genre painting
During the first half of the xix th century, two streams share the description of Russian life in genre paintings. One is represented by Alexei Venetsianov and his school with in particular his pupils Nikifore Krylov and Alexei Tyranov. The other is represented by Pavel Fedotov and will lay the foundations for critical realism by tackling moral and social themes. The itinerants will follow this second line, trying to draw a faithful picture of the daily existence of the Russian people during the second half of the century.

The practical realism of the Ambulants had to lead to genre painting because it was the only painting that was likely to interest the people and then act on them. Within the itinerants one can distinguish two categories: the entertainers, storytellers of humorous or sentimental anecdotes on the one hand and on the other the vigilantes who wilt the vices of Russian society and enlighten opinion so that the reforms follow. Vassili Perov is part of the second group and inaugurates the motif of popular misery. He also devotes part of his work to the painful question of child labor. In 1863 he stayed in Paris and certainly knew Gustave Courbet there andErnest Meissonier. It was under their influence that he painted street scenes with beggars, street musicians, onlookers, Parisian ragpickers. He quickly asked for his return to Russia because he did not adapt to this foreign environment. He may appear as a continuator of Pavel Fedotov, believes Louis Réau, but he has a more combative temperament. There is in his work an anticlerical vein which is new in Russia and his drunken pops make one think of the Curés on the spur of Courbet.

Alexandre Makovski, Constantin Makovski and Vladimir Makovski are all three members of the same family and belong to the group of Ambulants.

Ilia Répine, with her unexpected Visitor evokes in a moving way, the return of the deported and miserable returning as a Prodigal Child after years of Siberia.

Nikolai Nevrev, who titled his painting Market, scenes of peasant customs, painted in 1866 the scene of the sale of a fine serving by its owner to a new master. The latter sells as if he were a horse dealer busy carrying out his cattle, with no qualms, in perfect indifference.

Legendary subjects
It is thanks to the itinerants that this genre appears in Russia. Its sources come from bylines and old legendary and magical folk tales. Viktor Vasnetsov has drawn from it episodes of water princesses, valiant knights, bloody battles. Vasnetsov is also a painter who creates theater sets. It was he who designed the sets and sketches for the costumes for the Rimsky-Korsakov opera La Fille des neiges. It was he who gave birth to a whole school of young decorators who left their mark on the theater after him.

Reproduction of works
Even though the number of travelling exhibition visitors from the provinces was increasing during the years, the main audience was the urban elite. Local photographers created the first reproductions of Peredvizhniki’s paintings, which helped popularize the works and could be bought at exhibitions. Niva magazine also published illustrated articles about the exhibitions. Since 1898 the landscapes of the society have been used in the postcard industry. Various books of poems were published with the illustrations of landscapes. Ordinary Russian people at that time could not afford to go to Moscow or Saint Petersburg, so popularization of Russian art made them familiar with a number of Russian art masterpieces. Even now publishers use the reproductions in textbooks as a visual icon of national identity.

Decline of creativity
As the authority and public influence of the society steadily grew, government officials had to stop their efforts to repress the members. Attempts were made to subordinate their activity, and raise the falling value of Academy of Arts-sanctioned works. By the 1890s, the Academy of Arts structure was including Peredvizhniki art in its classes and history, and the influence of the artists showed in national art schools.

In 1898, their influence began to be superseded by Mir iskusstva, which advanced modern trends in Russian art. Some of the members of Peredvizhniki became more conservative, but some remained as radical as their predecessors. Some of the artists began showing socialist ideas, which reflected the development of a working-class movement. Many of the Peredvizhniki entered the Soviet art culture bringing the realistic traditions of the 19th century to socialist realism.

The 48th exhibition of Peredvizhniki in 1923 was the last one. Most members joined the Association of Artists in Revolutionary Russia (AKhRR). Its members built on the traditions of Peredvizhniki and aspired to create works of art accessible to the common people and faithfully reflecting the righteousness of Soviet society.

Causes of the decline of itinerants
The itinerant group has been active for thirty years. Then, dazzled by the successes they had known, they did not realize the stagnation in which they were growing. More research, more new ways, as was known in Western Europe. Perhaps they have as an excuse the admiration that the Russian public had for them. In any case, they neglected the aesthetic aspect in their works in favor of social ideas.

Insufficient technical knowledge also harmed the itinerants. According to Sergei Shcherbatov the academies did not properly teach the trade. He notices on this plan that some put layers of oil on still fresh layers of the previous session which causes the blackening of the tones of the tables. Others use the most ordinary petroleum oil which turns yellow over time. Art critics and artists themselves Anna Ostroumova-Lebedeva, or Igor Grabar, make the same comments

The itinerants’ dependence on literature and their inferiority in relation to it has compromised their prestige. The themes used by the painters were the same as those of the Russian classical literature of the xix th century. Thus the revolutionary in the Unexpected Visitor painting seems to come straight out of the novels of Russian revolutionary-democratic writers. But the realistic, purely narrative and descriptive painting remained too flat compared to the accusation literature. It used all of its strength to raise public awareness of the protest against society’s flaws.

In terms of anticlericalism, the Ambulants reflect in their paintings the anti-religious ideas of Dmitri Pissarev or Nicolas Pomialovski. Among the works of the Wanderers, that of Ilya Repin, Religious Procession in Kursk Province, is a good example, close in spirit to A Burial at Ornans by Gustave Courbet. Others, like Vassili Perov, target the behavior of pops who are drawn to drinking.

The arbitrariness to which the young serves were subjected and that the writer Nicolas Gogol had described in The dead souls is taken up by Nikolai Nevrev with his canvas Sale of a serve. Child labor was not protected by law. The tragedy of these helpless children has been described by writers such as Anton Tchékov, Maxime Gorki, Mikhaïl Saltykov-Chtchedrine, Tourgueniev. The itinerants did not stay away and denounced this scandal but often gave a more cheerful, less punctual note to the dark reality, as with Vassili Perovor Vladimir Makovski.

Itinerants have had a major influence in the history of Russian art. By drawing their inspiration from Russian life they made painting accessible to all strata of society. They dominated Russian artistic life for around thirty years. But when they have to give way to other schools, their influence will not stop as long and they reappear in Soviet Russia when the guns of social realism have been defined.

It is their deficiencies that will be the cause of the decline of the itinerants at the end of the xix th century. Deficiencies in technical matters, in aesthetic matters. They increasingly favor anecdote, moralism, to the detriment of formal beauty. Their democratization of art brought it down from popular style to village style. Compared to the vision and ambition of Ivan Kramskoï, artists find themselves in a narrowing that can only lead to a dead end, notes the art critic Boris Assafiev.

It will be necessary to wait for Andreï Riabouchkine, an itinerant classified late period but who already takes part in the exhibitions of Mir Iskousstva, to find different artistic experiences. His art is at the hinge which connects the movement of the itinerants of those who succeeded him.