COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF FRENCH AND RUSSIAN IMPRESSIONISM
Artists always capture and reflect in their works the historical atmosphere of the culture of a particular era, such as the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, or the Early Modern period. Impressionism is undoubtedly one of the most significant cultural trends of the last third of the XIX - early XX centuries. It originated in France but soon became widespread all over the world. Impressionists indeed expressed the emotions and lifestyles of the Europeans during the Early Modern period. The symbolic essence of Impressionism is twofold. On the one hand, this is an artistic movement with an extraordinary vision linked to the Modernist worldview. On the other hand, it is a unique creative method with its distinctive technique and peculiarities of painting manner. The artistic forms of the French Impressionist movement had many followers in the Russian Empire. For example, Russian visual art of the 1860s and 1870s was based on the Impressionist approach to Plein-Air painting. This new approach to the problems of Plein-air image in Russia led to a consistent, though "hidden" formation of impressionist tendencies, dictated by the historical trends of the development of Russian art. In the 1870s, Impressionism became an accepted idea in the art circles of France. During the same decade, Russian artists organized the first exhibitions of the Peredvizniki movement. This connection and interaction between the Russian Peredvizniki movement and French Impressionism have long attracted the attention of art historians. There are many striking similarities in the social background of these two artistic phenomena. The Russian Peredvizniki, like their French contemporaries, fought against the time-honored academic dogmas and canons searching for a genuinely modern, symbolic, and democratic art form. Artists of both movements designed and decorated their exhibitions creatively; worked in close-knit teams of like-minded artists; shared the innovative ideas of artistic free-thinking and self-expression. However, art historians highlighted significant differences between the two movements. Despite these movements' original parallelism and synchronicity, their paths eventually diverged as they developed into authentic and highly original art schools.