Moscow and St.Petersburg in Russia’s Silver Age
This book focuses on the visual and material culture of St Petersburg and Moscow at the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The twilight of Imperial Russia witnessed a sudden renaissance that left a profound imprint on the visual, literary and performing arts: here was a Silver Age as luminous perhaps as the Golden Age of Russian literature many decades before. Much of this new efflorescence was indebted to the movement or set of ideas known as Symbolism, which fell on fertile soil in the boundless expanse of Mother Russia. Seeking to transcend the conventional barriers of bourgeois civility, the Russian Symbolists lived and created on the edge, which often earned them the soubriquet of Decadent or Degenerate. Yet, as Sergei Diaghilev declared, theirs was not a moral or artistic decline, but a voyage of inner discovery and a refurbishing of a national culture.