Peredvizhniki [Russian: Передвижники] (Itinerants). A name applied to members of the Russian Society of Itinerant Art Exhibitions. It was founded in 1870 by Ivan Kramskoi, Mykola Ge, and 13 other artists who had left the Saint Petersburg Academy of Arts in protest against its rigid neoclassical dicta. In order to reach the widest audience possible, the society organized regular traveling exhibitions throughout the Russian Empire, including Kyiv, Kharkiv, and Odesa in their tours. Over the years the society attracted artists from various parts of Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine. Among the Ukrainians who joined it were Kyriak Kostandi, Arkhyp Kuindzhi, Mykola Kuznetsov, Oleksander Murashko, Leonid Pozen, Mykola Pymonenko, Petro Nilus, Ilia Repin, Serhii Svitoslavsky, and Mykola Yaroshenko. Ukrainians who took part in the society's exhibitions but were not members were Petro Levchenko, Solomon Kyshynivsky, and Yevhen Bukovetsky. The Peredvizhniki worked in realist and naturalist styles and concentrated on landscape art, portraiture, and genre painting. Typical of the society's Ukrainian offshoot are works such as Kostandi's Among the People (1885) and Early Spring (1892), and Pymonenko's Wedding (The Kiev Gubernia) (1891) and Young People (At the Well) (1909). The Peredvizhniki were more concerned with realistic portrayals than with stylistic innovation. Consequently, in the wake of formalist experimentation the society, originally radical in nature, became a bastion of conservatism. In 1923 the society amalgamated with the Association of Artists of Revolutionary Russia. The naturalist styles advocated by its members were later used as the basis of socialist realism.
Lebedev, A. (comp). The Itinerants (Leningrad 1974)
Valkenier, E. Russian Realist Art: The State and Society: The Peredvizhniki and Their Tradition (Ann Arbor 1977)
Hovdia, P.; Kovalenko, O. Peredvyzhnyky i Ukraïna (Kyiv 1978)
Kovalenko, A. Peredvizhniki i Ukraina: Stranitsy russko-ukrainskikh kul’turnykh sviazei (Kyiv 1979)
Ezerskaia, N. Peredvizhniki i natsional’nye khudozhestvennye shkoly narodov Rossii (Moscow 1987)
[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 3 (1993).]