#RussianProverb: It’s Better to See Once than to Hear a Hundred Times


The painting by Ivan Bilibin called "Buyan Island" (1905) made as an illustration for Alexander Pushkin's tale "The Tale of Tsar Saltan" (1831).
The painting by Ivan Bilibin called “Buyan Island” (1905) made as an illustration for Alexander Pushkin’s tale “The Tale of Tsar Saltan” (1831).

Лучше один раз увидеть, чем сто раз услышать (luchshe odin raz uvidet’, chem sto raz uslyshat’), i.e. it’s better to see [something] once than to hear [about it] a hundred times.

English equivalents:

  • seeing is believing;
  • a picture is worth a thousand words.

#RussianProverb: A Bird Is Known by Its Flight


Aleksey Savrasov - The Rooks Have Come Back, 1871.
Aleksey Savrasov – The Rooks Have Come Back, 1871.

Видна птица по полёту (vidná ptítsa po polyótu).

Literally: a bird is known by its flight.

Continue reading “#RussianProverb: A Bird Is Known by Its Flight”

#RussianSaying: a Tomtit in the Hands is Better than a Crane in the Sky


Ivan Bilibin - Ivan Tsarevich catching the Firebird's feather, 1899.
Ivan Bilibin – Ivan Tsarevich catching the Firebird’s feather, 1899.

Лучше синица в руках, чем журавль в небе (lúchshe sinítsa v rukákh, chem zhurávl’ v nébe).

Literally: a tomtit in the hands is better than a crane in the sky.

Continue reading “#RussianSaying: a Tomtit in the Hands is Better than a Crane in the Sky”

Nicholas Roerich: The Messenger (Tribe Has Risen Against Tribe)


Nicholas Roerich - The Messenger (Tribe Has Risen Against Tribe), 1897.
Nicholas Roerich – The Messenger (Tribe Has Risen Against Tribe), 1897.

In 1897 Nicholas Roerich graduated from the Imperial Academy of Arts in Saint Petersburg. “The Messenger” was his diploma work. It was bought by Russian businessman and art collector Pavel Tretyakov.

Leo Tolstoy told Roerich:

“Have you ever had to cross a fast river on a boat? You should always reign above the place where you need to, otherwise the river will drift you off the course. And in the field of moral requirements one should always steer higher – life will carry away everything. Let your messenger keep the rudder very high then he will reach the destination!”

Russian Dali of German Descent? Exhibition: “The Mythmaking of Maks Haase”.


Exhibition of the Russian painter of German descent Maks Haase (1938-1998) took place in Moscow at the end of January/beginning of February at Kino Gallery. Besides paintings, the exhibition included the so-called ‘goreliens‘ (made of wool and acrylic) – Haase derived this word by combining the words ‘gorelief’ (‘high relief’ in Russian) + ‘gobelen’ (tapestry). Due to Haase’s strong interest in the unconscious, mythology, archetypes, etc., which was reflected in his works, and some similarities in his artistic manner with that of Salvador Dali I heard several people label him as the Russian Dali. Do you agree with this statement?