Fyodor Dostoevsky


‘This is the great exhibition of the Meeting 1997, whose title and tone have been set by Dostoevsky himself. He wrote: “This is the only thing human existence is all about: that man may bow to the infinitely great”. Dostoevsky’s life and work dramatically witness the spiritual path of a man fighting against doubt and lack of faith in his tormenting quest for the “infinitely great”: “The problem that, consciously or unconsciously, has tortured me for my entire life is that of the existence of God”. His life is the history of this struggle and the quest for an answer. The objective he continually strove to attain, rediscovered and contemplated (as the contemplation of an icon is equated with a deeper and deeper immersion in the mystery itself) was the person of Christ. For Dostoevsky, Christ represented the reference as well as a continual interrogative concerning all problems, events and dramatic situations of man’s personal and social experience. The pivotal idea of the exhibition is that of re-tracing Dostoevsky’s life by reading its inner journey through which, at a time of religious and cultural crisis, he re-discovers the sources of the Christian tradition to re-experience it dramatically in his literary work. On display are personal objects belonged to Dostoevsky, the first editions of his books, lithographs and contemporary photographs, paintings and icons that accompanied and inspired his creativity. These are supplemented by an extensive photo-documentation and the reconstruction of the places in which he lived, from the penitentiary to the great halls of dark, foggy St. Petersburg, to the snow-white walls of the monastery where Dostoevsky arrived at one of the most dramatic moments of his life (few days after the death of his little son Alesa) and from which he drew his vivid perception of holiness. The curators include Russia Cristiana, founded in 1992 after 40 years of Fr Romano Scalfi’s work, in order to promote and disseminate studies and research on theology, philosophy, liturgy and art about the countries of Eastern Europe and particularly Russia. The foundation is based in Milan and in the nearby Seriate. The Institute of Russian Literature (Pu kinsky Dom), that is part of the Russian Academy of Science, based in St Petersburg, was founded in 1905 as a museum of manuscripts and materials on the life and works of Alexander Pu kin. It holds an extensive collection of manuscripts, documents, works of art, photographic and audio-visual materials on the history of Russian culture from the Middle Ages to the present. One of the most prominent figures of the Institute is the academic Dmitry Lichacev, famous worldwide for his research into medieval Russia.’


24 Agosto 1997 - 19 Ottobre 1997


Exhibitions Meeting Exhibitions