How Pavel Tretyakov competed with the emperor to create the most famous art gallery in Moscow
Before the revolution, patronage of the arts was considered not only charitable, but also beneficial for the donor himself, and the point here was not taxes at all. According to…

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Why did the famous socialist realist Heliy Korzhev begin to write mutant-turliks and paintings on biblical motifs
In recent years, in the world of art, interest in the work of Soviet artists has revived. And there was a time when their work was written off to a…

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Paintings of an artist who has loved one woman and one city for 60 years
It is not often that fate favors artists with benefits at the same time in all areas of life. Few people manage to walk a life and career on a…

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the cortex

The bloody drama that broke out centuries ago in Rembrandt’s brilliant painting Lucretius

As a rule, artists in all ages, creating their paintings, meticulously approached the choice of subjects that would inspire them to write unique and masterpieces. And since in the old days, plots were taken from legends, myths, biblical stories, the same theme was revealed by painters in different variations and several times. And today I would like to recall one of such legendary stories that laid the foundation for the works of many eminent masters of European painting. This heart-rending plot did not pass by the famous Dutchman Rembrandt Harmenszoon Van Rijn.
And the story, which occupied all the thoughts of the artist, was about the pious Roman Lucretia, the beloved heroine of the Renaissance and Baroque artists, who tragically passed away, but tried to save her honor. Continue reading

How Peter Konchalovsky managed to avoid repression and why the artist was called the Soviet Cezanne

Not many painters who disobeyed the socialist regime in times of bloody repression managed to escape punishment. Today I would like to recall the name of one of them – Pyotr Petrovich Konchalovsky. In those terrible years, the artist managed to remain a “pure” painter who avoided the embodiment of socialist reality and portraits of its leaders in his creations. Moreover, to take as a basis for his work the direction of the hostile Western art, which is why he was named in his time – the Soviet Cezanne.

It should be noted that the great merit of Anatoly Lunacharsky, the first People’s Commissar of Education of the RSFSR, was that Pyotr Petrovich was allowed to create freely, despite the attacks of critics who longed for the proletarian coup and the ecstasy of socialist work in the artist’s works. Anatoly Vasilievich convinced the guardians of the dogmas of socialist realism that Konchalovsky in his modern day “sings the poetry of our everyday life” and, apparently, the People’s Commissar did quite well. Continue reading

Symbolism of the most mysterious stone: Women with pearls in the paintings of famous artists

The dual nature of pearls has inspired artists at all times: pearls have been used for centuries as attributes of vanity, purity, innocence and even generosity. According to the National Gallery of Art, “symbolically, pearls were associated with vanity and worldly cares. Titian, for example, dyed Venus’s hair adorned with pearls. They can also represent purity, as can be seen from Lorenzo Lotto’s painting of St. Catherine.”

In 17th-century Dutch painting, pearls are depicted in earrings, necklaces and bracelets of heroines in portraits, historical paintings and vanitas objects. Perhaps the most famous painting with pearls is rightfully considered the “Girl with a Pearl Earring” by Jan Vermeer.
Jan Vermeer “Girl with a Pearl Earring” Continue reading

Why did the famous socialist realist Heliy Korzhev begin to write mutant-turliks and paintings on biblical motifs
In recent years, in the world of art, interest in the work of Soviet artists has revived. And there was a time when their work was written off to a…

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Did Leonardo da Vinci have a second Mona Lisa: The Riddles of the “Iselworth Mona Lisa”
For many decades, there has been debate about whether the Iselworth Mona Lisa is a genuine, earlier version of Leonardo da Vinci's most famous work, which attracts millions of visitors…

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How the primitive paintings of Grandma Moses influenced the course of the Cold War
Having crossed the age limit for 60 years, many no longer expect any fateful changes from life and quietly live out their lives. However, history knows many cases when older…

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What butterflies meant in the paintings of world famous artists
Butterfly and moth are one of the main symbols in art and a significant number of major artists include this image in their canvases. It is noteworthy that the butterfly…

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