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Isabel Stokholm Romanova

Isabel Stokholm Romanova

Pembroke College

Dissertation title: Fathers & Sons? Uncovering Cross-Generational Relations in the Russian Art World, 1880-1923

Supervisor: Dr Rosalind Polly Blakesley


Isabel specialises in Russian realist and modernist painting from 1850 to 1920, with a particular focus on the art of the Peredvizhniki (Wanderers) and two of the group's most prominent members - Ilya Repin and Vasily Surikov. Her doctoral research reassesses the relationship between artistic generations in late imperial Russia, reflecting on personal and professional exchange between 'old-guard' proponents of realist painting and youthful members of Russia’s celebrated avant-garde, including groups such as Mir iskusstva, the Union of Russian Artists and the Futurists. Isabel explores themes such as artistic training, salon culture and socialising, generational theory, the role of youth and old age in the art world, and the divide between artists’ public and private lives. Her research embraces Digital Humanities methods by studying artistic networks using Social Network Analysis (SNA) and spatially mapping Russian artistic life in Moscow, St Petersburg and abroad using Geographic Information System (GIS) applications.

Isabel studied Russian at the State Pushkin Institute in Moscow and went on to receive her BA from the University of Oxford (History, 2013) and MA from the Courtauld Institute of Art (History of Art, 2015), where her dissertation on the work of Ilya Repin won the Director’s Prize. Since summer 2016 she has been based in Moscow, where she is conducting long-term archival research funded by the Leverhulme Trust.

Research Interests

Russian realist and modernist painting from 1850 to 1920, especially the art of the Peredvizhniki (Wanderers); Russian Silver Age; intellectual and cultural history of late imperial Russia; nineteenth-century European art; intergenerational studies; generational theory; socio-artistic networks; salon culture and socialising; artists' training and education; experiences of old age among artists; cultural gerontology; youth studies; Digital Humanities; Social Network Analysis (SNA); cultural mapping of Moscow and St Petersburg using Geographical Information Systems (GIS)