History of Art and Architecture

Maria Taroutina

Assistant Professor of Slavic Studies


Taroutina specializes in the art of Imperial and early Soviet Russia. She received her PhD in the History of Art from Yale University in 2013, where she also completed her undergraduate studies in 2006.

She is the author of The Icon and the Square: Russian Modernism and the Russo-Byzantine Revival, which was awarded the 2019 USC Book Prize in Literary and Cultural Studies. Taroutina has also co-edited two volumes, Byzantium/Modernism: The Byzantine as Method in Modernity and New Narratives of Russian and East European Art: Between Traditions and Revolutions. She is currently working on two new book projects: a monograph on Mikhail Vrubel and a study of Russian Orientalist painting, tentatively titled Exotic Aesthetics: Art, Race, and Representation in Imperial Russia.
Her research derives conceptual and methodological provocations from re-examining entrenched art historical narratives, particularly with regard to questions pertaining to modernity, the historical avant-garde, and the visual culture of empire, both Tsarist and Soviet. Her approach can be characterised as revisionist and cross-temporal, aiming to challenge the linear trajectory of Russian art history in favour of a circular or synergetic model of inquiry, which considers in tandem artistic practitioners, movements, and institutions that are viewed in antithetical rather than dialogical terms.