Visual Accounting on the example of Boris Kustodiev’s Merchant

Author/s Viatcheslav Sokolov, Svetlana Karelskaia, Ekaterina Zuga
Publishing Year 2023 Issue 2022/1 Language English
Pages 19 P. 9-27 File size 318 KB
DOI 10.3280/CCA2022-001002
DOI is like a bar code for intellectual property: to have more infomation click here

Below, you can see the article first page

If you want to buy this article in PDF format, you can do it, following the instructions to buy download credits

Article preview

FrancoAngeli is member of Publishers International Linking Association, Inc (PILA), a not-for-profit association which run the CrossRef service enabling links to and from online scholarly content.

Introduction. This study explores the link between accounting and art using an example of a painting by renowned Russian artist Boris Kustodiev - The Merchant, or an Old Man Counting Money. Aim of the work. This work aims to develop the provisions of visual accounting on the example of Russian painting as, hermeneutically, ‘every painting is an increment of being and subject to the essential definition as a representation, its formation’ (Gadamer, 1988, p. 196). Methodological approach. The paper is based on an indepth review of the central character in the painting - a merchant - and provides a detailed description of the objects that surround him, which feature the second dominant element complementing the figure of the merchant - a traditional Russian mechanical abacus. The study also includes a brief biography of the artist and an overview of his creative milestones as well as some facts about the life of the accountant that served as a model for the merchant character. Main findings. This study unveils the use of accounting tools in works of art and demonstrates how actors and users perceive accounting. Originality. The originality of the study lies in its first attempt to provide a detailed review of accounting through the prism of Russian art by using a methodology that can be adopted to analyse the creations of other artists dealing with subjects related to accounting, as well as to explore the works of accountants who contributed to art.

Keywords: painting, Russia, accounting, merchant, ledger, abacus

  1. Yamey B.S. (1989). Art & Accounting. New Haven and London: Yale University Press.
  2. Address Calendar. Part 1-2: General list of the commanders and other officials for all departments in the Russian Empire for 1900 (Адрес–календарь. Ч. 1–2: Общая роспись начальствующих и прочих должностных лиц по всем управлениям в Российской империи на 1900 год. – 22, 10 с., 1058 стб., 151 с.; [2] с., 514 стб., 74 с. – Алфавитный указ. фамилий, содержащихся в 1 части Адрес–календаря на 1900 г. (151 с.); ... во 2 части Адрес–календаря на 1900 г. (74 с.)).
  3. Busco C., Quattrone P. (2018). In Search of the “Perfect One”: How accounting as a maieutic machine sustains inventions through generative ‘in-tensions’. Management Accounting Research, 39: 1-16,
  4. Bykov V.P. (1902). Abacus. The Art to produce different calculations on simple Russian accounts true and quickly to be beyond any competition. Moscow: Publishing House of S.N. Yakovlev (Быков В.П. Счеты. Искусство так быстро и верно производить всевозможные вычисления на простых русских счетах, чтобы быть вне всякой конкуренции).
  5. Davison J. (2010). [In]visible [in]tangibles: Visual portraits of the business élite. Accounting, Organizations and Society, 35: 165-183,
  6. Davison J. (2011). Barthesian perspectives on accounting communication and visual images of professional accountancy. Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, 2 (24): 250-283, DOI: 10.1108/09513571111100708
  7. Davison J. (2014). Visual rhetoric and the case of intellectual capital. Accounting, Organizations and Society, 39: 20-37,
  8. Davison J. (2015). Visualising accounting: an interdisciplinary review and synthesis. Accounting and Business Research, 45(2): 121-165,
  9. Davison J., Warren S. (2009). Imag[in]ing accounting and accountability. Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, 6(22): 845-857,
  10. Gadamer H.G. (1988). Truth and Method: Foundations of Philosophical Hermeneutics. Moscow: Progress (Гадамер Х.Г. Истина и метод: основы философской герменевтики).
  11. Graduates of the Astrakhan School of Theology in 1876-1885, 1889-1893, 1896-1899, 1901-1914, 1916, 1917; Lists of students transferred to the following classes admitted to the exam in the fall, left for a repeat course and dismissed in 1917 Site of Alexander Aleksandrovich Bovkalo (Выпускники Астраханского духовного училища1876-1885, 1889-1893, 1896-1899, 1901-1914, 1916, 1917 гг.; Списки учеников, переведенных в следующие классы, допущенных к экзамену осенью, оставленных на повторительный курс и уволенных в 1917 году Сайт Александра Александровича Бовкало) --
  12. Gromova E.V., Efremova L.A. (2014). Korovin Vrubel, Kustodiev. Moscow: OLMA Media Groupp (Громова Е.В., Ефремова Л.А. Коровин, Врубель, Кустодиев).
  13. Jaspers K. (2014). The Origin and Goal of History (Routledge Revivals). Routledge.
  14. Kiselyov A.G. (2010). Accounting in trade and industry of Western Siberia (late XIX and early XX centuries). Bulletin of the Tyumen State University. Socio-economic and legal studies, 1 (Киселев А.Г. Бухгалтерский учет в торговле и промышленности Западной Сибири (конец XIX начало XX вв.)).
  15. Lvova D.A. (2006). Joint stock companies: history of abuse in accounting. Accounting, 18: 54-61 (Львова Д.А. Акционерные компании: история злоупотреблений в учете).
  16. Lvova I.N. (2013). The Image of the Businessman’s and Accountant’s Profession: a Look at History. Finance and business, 3: 141-149 (Львова И.Н. Образ профессии коммерсанта и бухгалтера: обращение к истории).
  17. Markov A. The escaping time Astrakhan Internet portal (Марков А. Ускользающее время) --–item &id=91273
  18. Melnichuk O. (2015). Kustodiev Boris Mikhailovich. Fragments of life. 1878-1927. Painting. Graphic arts. White City (Мельничук О. Кустодиев Борис Михайлович. Фрагменты жизни. 1878-1927).
  19. Mirzoeff N. (1998). What is visual culture? In: The Visual Culture Reader. London, New York, p. 3-13.
  20. Mitchell W.J.T. (1992). The Pictorial Turn. ArtForum, 5: 89-94.
  21. Mitchell W.J.T. (2002). Showing seeing: a critique of visual culture. Journal of Visual Culture, 1(2): 165-181.
  22. Mitchell W.J.T. (2017). Iconology. Image. Text. Ideology. Yekaterinburg: Cabinet Scientist (Митчелл У.Дж.Т. Иконология. Образ. Текст. Идеология).
  23. Nafpaktitis M. (2010). Visual Materials in the Journal Dom iskusstv. Slavic & East European Information Resources, 11(2-3): 273-302,
  24. Narsky I.V. (2008). Problems and possibilities of historical interpretation of family photography (on the example of children's photography from 1966 from Gorky). In: Narsky I.V. et al., editor, Obvious history. Problems of the visual history of Russia of the XX century. Collection of articles. Chelyabinsk: Stone belt (Нарский И.В. Проблемы и возможности исторической интерпретации семейной фотографии (на примере детской фотографии 1966 г. из г. Горького).
  25. Pikulev I.I. (1951). Boris Mikhailovich Kustodiev. 1878-1927. Moscow: Art (Пикулев И.И. Борис Михайлович Кустодиев. 1878-1927).
  26. Pritchard R.T. (1946). Shakespeare and Accounting. The Accounting Review, 1(21): 67-70.
  27. Provision on Merchants’ Ledgers. The highest approved Provision on Merchants’ Ledgers dated June 14, 1834 (1834) Complete Collection of Laws of the Russian Empire, IX, (7187): 449-452 (Положение о купеческих книгах Высочайше утвержденное Положение о купеческих книгах от 14 июня 1834 г., ПСЗРИ, Т. IX, № 7187).
  28. Puyou F.R., Quattrone P. (2018). The Visual and Material Dimensions of Legitimacy: Accounting and the Search for Societies. Organization Studies, 39(5-6): 721-746, DOI: 10.1177/0170840618765013
  29. Quattrone P. (2009). Books to be practiced: Memory, the power of the visual, and the success of accounting. Accounting, Organizations and Society, 34: 85-118,
  30. Shcherbakova E.I. (2011). Visual history: the development of a new space. In: Bordyugova G.A., editor, Historical research in Russia - III. Fifteen years later. Moscow: AIRO XXI. p. 473-488 (Щербакова Е.И. Визуальная история: освоение нового пространства).
  31. Sokolov Ya.V. (1996). Shakespeare on Money, Loans and Accounting. Proceedings of SPbUEandF, 1: 120-132 (Соколов Я.В. Шекспир о деньгах, кредите и бухгалтерском учете).
  32. Sokolov Ya.V. (2003). The Image of the Accountant in Literature and Cinema. Moscow: ID FBK–PRESS (Соколов Я.В. Образ бухгалтера в литературе и кино).
  33. Spann O. (2005). The Philosophy of History: Translated from German K.V. Loschevsky. St Peterburg: Publishing house of St. Petersburg University (Шпанн О. Философия истории).
  34. Tolstova A. (2003). Kustodiev’s Art World. Russian Life, November/December, 48-55.
  35. Tolstoy L.N. (2006). Collected works. Vol. 22. Moscow: RGB (Толстой Л.Н. Полное собрание сочинений).
  36. Wittgenstein L. (1961). Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (trans. Pears and McGuinness).

Viatcheslav Sokolov, Svetlana Karelskaia, Ekaterina Zuga, Visual Accounting on the example of Boris Kustodiev’s Merchant in "CONTABILITÀ E CULTURA AZIENDALE" 1/2022, pp 9-27, DOI: 10.3280/CCA2022-001002