Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Jaffee, Barbara

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Art and Design


Peredvizhniki (Society); Makovskiĭ; Vladimir; 1846-1920; Art history; Russian history; Art; Russian--19th century; Art; Modern--19th century--History; Realism in art


This thesis examines the political work produced by a little-known Russian Realist, Vladimir Makovsky (1846-1920), while he was a member of the nineteenth-century art collective Peredvizhniki. Increasingly recognized for subtle yet insistent opposition to the tsarist regime and the depiction of class distinctions, the work of the Peredvizhniki was for decades ignored by modernist art history as the result of an influential article, "Avant-Garde and Kitsch," written by American art critic Clement Greenberg in 1939. In this article, Greenberg suggests the work of Ilya Repin, the most renowned member of the Peredvizhniki, should be regarded not as art, but as "kitsch"--the industrialized mass culture of an urban working class. Even now, scholars who study the Peredvizhniki concern themselves with the social history of the group as a whole, rather than with the merits of specific artworks. Taking a different approach to analyzing the significance of the Peredvizhniki and of Makovsky specifically this thesis harnesses the powerful methodologies devised in the 1970s by art historians T.J. Clark and Michael Fried, two scholars who are largely responsible for reopening the dialogue on the meaning and significance of Realism in the history of modern art.


Advisors: Barbara Jaffee.||Committee members: Sinclair Bell; Sarah Evans.


67 pages




Northern Illinois University

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