The Volga is no ordinary river. The principal waterway in Western Russia, it is the longest on the European continent. Encyclopedia Britannica describes it as “the historic cradle of the Russian state” whose “immense economic, cultural, and historic importance—along with the sheer size of the river and its basin—ranks it among the world’s great rivers.” Small wonder that it has inspired so many Russian artists. The following paintings speak of the Volga’s beauty and grandeur. They also provide an insight into why this mighty river is the source of patriotic pride for the Russian people.

Volga, no date
Arkhip Kuindzhi (Russian, 1842–1910)
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Volga near Simbirsk. 1881
Mikhail Clodt (Russian, 1832–1902)
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

On the Volga. 1892
Nikolay Nikanorovich Dubovskoy (Russian, 1859–1918)
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Fresh wind. Volga, 1895
Isaac Levitan (Russian, 1860–1900)
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Transportation on the Volga, 1918
Aleksandr Makovsky (Russian, 1869–1924)
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Barge Haulers on the Volga, 1870–1873
Ilya Repin (Russian, 1844–1930)
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Barge Haulers on the Volga, 1881
Alexei Kondratievich Savrasov (Russian, 1830–1897)
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Stenka Razin, 1906
Vasily Surikov (Russian, 1848–1916)
Courtesy of The Russian Museum, St Petersburg, via Wikimedia Commons

Note: Stenka Razin was the leader of a major Cossack and peasant rebellion on Russia’s southeastern frontier (1670–71). Click here to learn more about the Razin uprising and the role of the Volga River.

Evening on the Volga, 1888
Isaac Levitan (Russian, 1860–1900)
Courtesy of WikiArt: Visual Art Encyclopedia

On the Volga, 1889
Abram Arkhipov (Russian, 1862–1930)
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Night Scene on the Volga, 1871
Alexei Kondratievich Savrasov (Russian, 1830–1897)
Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Volga near Zhiguli, 1887
Ivan Aivazovsky (Armenian-Russian, 1817–1900)
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

~ Barista Uno

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