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This study delves into the process of development of Russian animal art of the 18th-19th Centuries. The primary purpose of the research was to make a review of these two historical periods, which determined the typical features of the early and mature periods of development of animal art in Russia—the time of the birth and development of the genre. According to the author, genre issues are important, and talking about it is necessary to define the image of the animalistic nature in all its specificity. In addition, it is noted that researchers do not characterise the stage of early Animalism, which first appeared in the 18th Century, sufficiently. Nevertheless, this genre has demonstrated all the love of artists for the real perception of the natural world and their sincere will to create its truthful and reliable reflection in their works. This tendency is typical for Western European Art. At the same time, it has been explicitly expressed in the works of Russian animal artists. Compared with European Animal Art of the 17th-18th Centuries, Russian ‘Kunstkammer drawing’ and how the class of ‘animal and birds’ was organised looked like a real innovation. These two factors have contributed to the creation of a full-fledged animalistic image. The author underlines that the main principle of imitation of nature was at the basis of teaching in the Russian school. It eventually led to the formation of the genre with its complex, distinctive features. These unique features was observed in the animal art of the 19th Century, mainly in the form of hippique images. Nevertheless, there was an attempt to combine two separated historical periods— the 18th and 19th Centuries, which demonstrated different images, approaches (animal naturalia of the 18th Century and horse characters of the 19th Century). The author, here, tends to talk about Russian Animalism of the 19th Century, one of the most explored ones. Doing so underlines the importance of animal art of the two periods as a historically conditioned cultural phenomenon in the relationship between genres of Fine Art and trends of the time. The historical and artistic method made it possible to identify the connection between these two eras in which Animalism was expressed significantly. Its originality is that it combined two diverse eras into one national whole.
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