The BackShop Journal

A Web Magazine of Arts, Culture and Orthodox Christian Spirituality

  • Nativity Scenes: A Tradition of Art and Worship

    There is an old and fascinating tradition at display during the Christmas season: to place a nativity scene at home, in church, on the street. Nativity scene is a model of the Bethlehem cave or stable with all that gathered during the birth of Christ. It originated in Italy in the 13th century. Grad...
  • Gustav Klimt, the Embodiment of the Expiring Empire's Splendour

    Gustav Klimt, the king of decorative painting and of the female body. The embodiment of Vienna Secession, one of the most compelling artistic and cultural movements of the turn of the 20th century. On February 6th, the Austrian capital will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the great artist's unt...
  • Nutcracker, One of the Favourite Ballets of All Time

    On Sunday, December 18, 1892, exactly 125 years ago, the ballet Nutcracker by Piotr Tchaikovsky was given its premiere at the Mariinsky Theater in Saint Petersburg. The original production, performed that night on a double-bill with Tchaiskovsky's opera Iolanta did not enjoy an initial success....
  • Revolution Every Day: an Exercise in Dangerous Nostalgia

    Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago is hosting an exhibition of Soviet posters made by women. Presented on the centenary of the 1917 Russian Revolution, this exhibition "immerses visitors in the distinct textures and speeds of everyday life that arose—and have lingered stubbornly—in the...
  • Russian Avant-Garde, the "Black Square" and Primordial Forms

    One of the most impressive and influential phenomena in the intellectual, spiritual and artistic upheaval in Russia around the time of the Revolution was the Russian avant-garde in visual arts. Two of its most prominent representatives were Kazimir Malevich (1878-1935) and Wassily Kandinsky (1866-19...
Featured Article
Voltaire and the Battle for Religious Tolerance
François-Marie Arouet (1694-1778), better known by his nom de plume Voltare, was one of the intellectual driving forces that lead to the French Revolution (1789-1799). A writer, historian and philosopher of the French Enlightenment, he is famous for his attacks on the established Catholic Church and...
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