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PhD Candidate, specialist in fi ne and decorative arts at the Polenov State Russian House of Folk Arts
Works by of the artist Vasily Romanenkov are featured in leading collections of “naive art,” and his name is included in the World Encyclopedia of Naive Art (Belgrade, 1984). Yet few scholars have studied this artist, and their assessments have oft en been one-sided and lacking in a substantial factual basis. Th is article addresses the source subjects of Romanenkov’s imagery and the roots of his artistic language in the context of his personal biography. It is based on his works from the collection of the Polenov State Russian House of Folk Art, the Museum of the Russian Lubok and Naive Art, and the collection of K. Bogemskaya — A. Turchin et al. An analysis of the artist’s works demonstrates the infl uence of the folk traditions of the Smolensk region, as pointed out K. Bogemskaya and V. Pomeshchikov. Th e article compares the architectural environment of the artist and the compositional structure of his works, analyzes the infl uence of mass culture on his picture of the world, and identifi es craft skills in his work. For the fi rst time in scholarship, the article considers Romanenkov’s early works created during his studies at the Extramural Folk University of the Arts (ZNUI), as well as his small-scale late works. .
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