The anthropology of yonder: Russian Orthodox icons, Suprematism, and Russian Soul

  • Author / Creator
    Robertson, Fiona I
  • This study examines similarities between Russian Orthodox icons and Suprematist paintings, using an anthropological lens. Though their appearances and purposes differ, the two art traditions share multiple points of culturally important comparison. I took an anthropological approach in order to consider these similarities from a unique angle, gaining cultural insight that theology or art theory alone do not provide. Through this method, I was able to expose convergences in the technical forms of these art traditions that align with concepts of Russian Soul, an integral aspect of Russian national character. These convergences include depth and incongruence, which are expressed visually as faktura and mixed perspective. Furthermore, by studying the artist as a cultural specialist, the crucial role that the artist plays in Russian society emerged. This study shows that anthropology can provide a culturally revealing analysis of art objects in a way that traditional approaches to art do not.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
    • Department of Anthropology
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Zivkovic, Marko (Anthropology)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • DeBernardi, Jean (Anthropology)
    • Forth, Gregory (Anthropology)
    • Marples, David (History and Classics)