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10th May 2023

Lilacs are beloved in Russia where they grow wild and in great profusion, heralding the start of summer after a long, cold winter. They run through Russian literature, in the poems of Anna Akhmatova, the short stories of Chekhov, and the classic novels. In Turgenev's Fathers and Sons, Arkady returns to his father's country estate and enjoys the sight of ‘great bunches of lilacs’ picked to lie next to the samovar under an awning on the garden terrace. This is 'Lilac' (1915) by the Russian Impressionist Konstantin Korovin.

 

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