It's Synchronicity. Two of the art blogs I read with some regularity, Lines and Colors and William Wray, have both posted about Russian art over the last few days. Since I'm a budding fan, I thought I'd chip in my own $0.02.
My first serious exposure was a book I found more or less randomly at the local library last year. Unfortunatley, I don't recall the name or author (my bad), but it's focus was pre-revolutionary century Russian painting. I was floored... not just by the technical prowess so many of them exhibited, but also by that uniquely Russian warmth, earthiness, and deep spirituality that appeals to me in so much Russian music from the period (think Mussorgsky and Tchaikovsky).
A couple of my favorites, in no particular order, were Ivan Shishkin, Ivan (Hovannes) Aivazovsky, Ilya Repin, and Isaac Levitan. I have to thank Olga's Gallery for being one of the few deep resources online for these great artists.
A couple of other good resources I've found are: The State Russian Museum, The Andreev Collection, and The Austin Gallery.
This is great stuff; A lot of people appear to be delighted to be discovering it -- I certainly am...