A Russian Bloomsbury

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Lesley Chamberlain explores the 'aesthetic Bolsheviks,' the modernist artistic community of 1920s Moscow and Petersburg who embraced socialism. These 'Bloomsberries' were leading intellectuals before and after the revolution. They lived unconventionally, guided by a love of pleasure, a sexual openness and a passionate formal interest in art. The critic (and later reluctant secret policeman) Osip Brik and his dancer wife Lili were the social centre of the group. The poet Mayakovsky and the photographer Rodchenko were key figures too. For a year or so the future was bright. Then it arrived in the dark shape of Stalin.

Producer: Tim Dee.

Lesley Chamberlain on the 'aesthetic Bolsheviks', a 1920s Russian artistic community.

Lesley Chamberlain explores the 'aesthetic Bolsheviks,' the modernist artistic community of 1920s Moscow and Petersburg who embraced socialism.

These 'Bloomsberries' were leading intellectuals before and after the revolution.

They lived unconventionally, guided by a love of pleasure, a sexual openness and a passionate formal interest in art.

The critic (and later reluctant secret policeman) Osip Brik and his dancer wife Lili were the social centre of the group.

The poet Mayakovsky and the photographer Rodchenko were key figures too.

For a year or so the future was bright.

Then it arrived in the dark shape of Stalin.