Rome Travel Guide

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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Russian Social Realism - in Rome

The mix of Russian Social Realism posters with “occupiers” on the steps of Palazzo delle Esposizioni – the State’s large art gallery on via Nazionale – caught our eye (along with the protestors) recently in Rome. The posters are ads for a blockbuster show of Russian art of the school of Social Realism (not much else was permitted) from the 1920s to 1970s.
We almost camped out ourselves to see this show, because the museum was closed for almost a week of the protest (to the protestations of the protestors, btw), and the wait was worth it.

"Excuse us for the disruption;
Global revolution in process"
"We want it open"


Going in with our preconceptions about “bad” Russian Social Realism, we were amazed at the variety and quality of the painting. The panels – in both Italian and English (yay!) – provide good explanations of the evolution of the art form.

If you’re going to be in Rome before January 8, put this one on your list. And leave plenty of time. It’s a large and exhausting foray into Russian art of the last century.

Dianne

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