Paola Volkova (1930-2013) is a Soviet and Russian art historian and philosopher of art.
She is considered today the most popular art historian in Russia.
She maintained that the 20th century is a comment to history. Creating in her own way a socially engaged art wave, her greatest contribution was to show how art and culture contribute to daily life. In accessible and straightforward way she explained the connotation of paintings and objects of art and how they apply to modern times.
In 2011, at the age of 81, she presented on Russian TV Channel “Kultura” an 18-series program Bridge over the Abyss, devoted to the interpretation of 18 works of art, including Primavera, Gernica, The Night Cafe, Las Meninas and others, which became overnight a nation-wide success.
Paola is the author of a large number of publications about the work of the Russian film director Andrey Tarkovsky.
A portrait of Paola Volkova, painted by Vladimir Weisberg in 1959, is in the permanent collection of the Tretyakov State Gallery, Moscow.
Widely known in Moscow since the 1970s, but often diregarded for her unorthodox views, she became legendary in the post-perestroika area.