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Record Moscow Crowds Spend Hours in -20 Freeze for Patriotic Painter Exhibit (Video)

While naughty liberals prefer to queue for fast food at McDonalds


This post first appeared on Russia Insider

Record-breaking crowds stood for hours in -20 (celsius) degree weather, (which is 36 degrees below freezing in Fahrenheit!), to see a recent painting exhibit by a popular 19th century Russian Artist, Valentin Serov.  

There has never been such a popular exhibit in Moscow.

Some of the visitors were in line for 6 hours, and at one point the crowd overpowered security, broke down the doors to the museum and rushed in.  

All this got huge publicity in the media, which kicked off spirited discussion of the meaning of this, with liberals and conservatives going at each other like cats and dogs.

Here is an example of one of these articles from the conservative side.

The author is a prominent Russian journalist, part-time conservative politician, famous for coining the term “Russian Spring” during the 2014 anti-putsch movements in the Crimea and Donbas.

The Moscow liberal elite still can’t get over the shock: crowds of Muscovites are standing in line at the Central House of Artists on Krymsky Val… to get to the exhibition of Valentin Serov, an early 20th century artist, even smashing the front door.  

But it’s not their aggressiveness that liberals resent, but the fact that these people love Russian art. Those who would ‘liberate’ us are hysterical, filled with hatred and disgust. Some of them say

‘in a grey country with a grey sky, grey buildings, grey people and a grey president even the painter is grey’.

Some, like the journalist Xenia Larina accused people of standing in a queue : that’s now unacceptable, although there is one exception:

"I was in the queue for the first MacDonald’s in the winter ’90, and believe me, it wasn’t just a crush to get just hamburgers, to get American junk food, it was a freedom line. Opening a MacDonald’s in gloomy, cold, hungry Moscow was not so much a humanitarian action as a humanistic one. We were allowed to join the free, civilized world"!

The most ‘thoughtful’ analysts agreed that Serov is an imperial painter which is why crowds of ‘rag tags and bobtails’ are smashing in doors to join in nostalgia for the Russian world – that Lenin blew up shortly afterwards.  A decent person should despise the empire, old Russia world and the ‘rag tags’. 

Serov indeed was an artist of the Russian empire, one of the best artists in the Russian classical realist tradition and one of the most underestimated phenomena in the history of world art.

To call him an ‘imperial’ artist, however, would be misleading. He took several commissions from the imperial family, known for rendering magnificent full-dress portraits of Alexander III and a surprisingly soft and lyrical portrait of Nicholas II in which the Emperor’s soul and the coming tragedy can be foretold. But that  can by no means be called ideological. In 1905 Serov didn’t’ worry that he could lose royal commissions when he painted caricatures of anti-government demonstrators  being dispersed by Cossacks. 

Today it seems that we can look at Russia from a more optimistic point of view than it was a century ago, when the country was in an unstoppable search for fundamental change. Today’s  ‘shocked’ alienate themselves from a Russia that they are incapable of recognizing.  While they spin scenarios in which starving people line up at currency exchanges, with the ruble at 80 to the dollar, in reality, Russian’s are standing in line to view Serov artworks.

Source: Izvestia
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