The Artist, Anna
The fate of Anna Ostroumova is interesting in respect to her participation in a rich and diverse period in the history of Russian art: There was orthodox academism with its biblical motifs; the "Wanderers" movement; the "World of Art" movement filled with symbolism; the Futurist experiments of the revolutionary years; and finally, there was Socialist Realism.But is must be noted that this artist, who was in close contact with all these contemporary trends, never lost her own original style.
Ostroumova lived a long and fruitful life, and had a considerable impact on the general culture of her time.She was born on 5 May 1871 and died at the age of eighty-four in 1955, on the date of her birth.The city which was honored in her art changed its name twice during that time: Petersburg‐ Petrograd-Leningrad.Her artistry revived the ancient, and distinctly Russian, black and white engravings.Additionally, she is, in her own right, considered the originator of Russian color xylography.Particularly famous are the architectural landscapes of her home city and its surroundings. The harmonious beauty of the skyline around the Neva was a lifelong inspiration.
Anna came from a well-to-do family.Shortly before her birth the Ostroumovas moved from Warsaw to Petersburg.An enthusiasm for wood carving, which the girl developed at a very early age, led her to live a secluded life and to remain aloof from others. Later she wrote in her memoirs:
I was extremely shy. This prevented me from meeting my classmates, and my experience at school was like torture for me. Not only to repeat my lesson ... in front of a class, but even simple things, such as entering the classroom in the morning, where the girls gathered before the lesson, I found very hard to do. Every time I would stop at the door in order to gather courage, and then walk up to my desk all red in the face. My experience at school always brings up painful memories. 1
If people made her uneasy, woodworking calmed her down. Anna loved wood, its warm surface, its texture, color and smell.It always yielded easily under the penknife, a present from her parents who saw the artistic talent of