Timeline: Russian Culture

Russian Culture

Part IV: The Soviet Period

by David Johnson

1920 1935 1958 1974 2000 Back: Rise of Russia


Greatest Russian symbolist poet, Aleksandr Blok, writes The Twelve, the ultimate poem of the revolution, applauds Communist takeover


Avant-garde artists publish Realistic Manifesto; endorse new artistic directions


Officials increasingly hostile toward avant-garde art

Constructivist sculptors (and brothers) Naum Gabo and Antoine Pevsner leave Russia, experiment with space, form, create dynamic works, revolutionize modern sculpture

Painter Marc Chagall leaves Russia for Paris, becomes major success, draws on cubism, Russian folk art; forerunner of surrealism

circa 1985

Ministry of Culture takes over Russian art, mandates standards of Socialist Realism in creative arts


Dmitri Shostakovich, first musical child of revolution, composes First Symphony

Sergei Eisenstein releases film Battleship Potemkin, winning international acclaim, developed montage editing technique montage


Leading originator of abstract art, Wassily Kandinsky, living in Paris, paints Movement, features irregular shapes


Boris Pasternak wins Nobel Prize in Literature for novel Doctor Zhivago, influenced by Dostoevsky, Tolstoy; insights into Communist society prompt authorities to force him to refuse prize


To encourage anti-Stalin sentiment, Premier Nikita Khrushchev personally allows publication of One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, a devastating account of Soviet concentration camps


After The Gulag Archipelago published abroad, Solzhenitsyn is deported; wins Nobel Prize in Literature, 1974; today, admired, leading Russian intellectual


General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev /id/A0821290 allows greater intellectual freedom, glasnost


Russian Orthodox Church bestows sainthood on Czar Nicholas and 1,000 others killed by Communists

Infoplease Links

map of Russia
Atlas: Russia

More Resources

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