More than 100 works by Russian artists, exploring the continent’s history and culture, feature in a new digital show ‘By Statues of Pharaohs’ by Gagarin G. G. (1891)

In celebration of Africa Day on May 25, the Russian Museum has unveiled a virtual exhibition featuring more than 100 works by native artists inspired by the African continent.

This digital exhibition in St. Petersburg includes pieces created in Africa or that pay homage to its rich history, people, and the ancient cultural heritage of Egypt.

This innovative online resource builds upon the catalog of the ‘Africa in the Works of Russian Artists’ exhibition, which was originally presented at the Russian Museum in the summer of 2023 to coincide with the Russia-Africa Summit.

The virtual exhibition features works by renowned artists such as brothers Konstantin and Nikolay Makovsky, as well as graphic works by Prince Grigory Gagarin, Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin, and Zinaida Serebryakova. It also includes a unique collection of watercolor portraits by Stepan Alexandrovsky, which depict members of the first Moroccan embassy to the Russian Empire.

St. Petersburg museum launches virtual exhibition on Africa (IMAGES)RT

‘Cairo’ by Makovsky N.Y. (1881)

“The theme of Africa intrigued Soviet artists throughout the 20th century, offering new readings and interpretations of the past and present of this mysterious continent,” the museum’s website says.


‘Old Man in a Turban’ by Makovsky K.Y. (Early 1870s)

Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, Russian painters, graphic artists, and sculptors made frequent visits to Africa, with many drawn to the historical depth of Egypt and its ancient monuments, as well as the vibrant landscapes of Algeria, Tunisia, and Morocco.

Meanwhile, the Patrice Lumumba Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University) has held a celebratory event titled ‘Russia-Africa: Bridge of Friendship’ to mark Africa Day. The gathering was attended by 350 international students.