Secrets of “Ladies with an Ermine”: What does the cute animal in the painting of Leonardo da Vinci hide
“The Lady with the Ermine” (1489-1490) is one of the most important works of all Western art, the subject of the greatest rarity of the genius Leonardo da Vinci and one of the four famous female portraits of the master. Modern art critics are sure – the white animal in the picture appeared for a reason.
Transformation of the picture
To date, only a small part of the picture has remained genuine, the rest has been repeatedly retouched: the entire background was darkened, the dress was changed, and the transparent veil worn by the woman was repainted in combination with hair color. Another adjustment of the unknown restorer was the addition of dark shadows between the fingers of her right hand (upon careful examination of the two lower fingers it is noticeable that they are significantly inferior to the others). However, the most important discovery of the picture was that the Italian artist did not write the work in one stage, but in three clearly distinguishable stages. Continue reading
Caspar David Friedrich is one of the leading figures in the German romantic movement. His mysterious, atmospheric landscapes and seascapes proclaimed human helplessness against the forces of nature and did much to validate the idea of the Exalted as the central problem of romanticism.
Human helplessness and melancholy, high feelings of the hero in the paintings are caused by sad events in the life of the artist himself. By coincidence, Frederick knew death very early: his mother, Sophie Dorothea Behli, died in 1781, when Caspar was only seven years old. At the age of thirteen, Caspar David witnessed how his brother Johann Kristoffer fell through the ice of a frozen lake and drowned. According to some reports, Johann Kristoffer died, trying to save Caspar David, who also nearly drowned. His sister Elizabeth died in 1782, and the second sister, Mary, died of typhus in 1791. Sad circumstances with loved ones, as well as the immersion of the artist himself in spiritual and mystical poetry, influenced his work and served as the basis for the confirmation of Caspar David Friedrich as the leader of German romanticism. Continue reading
The tragedy of the author of the most famous portrait of Chekhov: How he lost his family and paintings, and why he got to Solovki Osip Braz
Over several centuries of development, Russian culture has presented the world with a galaxy of brilliant painters, whose works are included in the world treasury of fine art. Among them are distinguished artists and undeservedly forgotten. One of the last is the talented master of the portrait genre Osip Emanuelovich Braz, the author of the famous portrait of A.P. Chekhov from the Tretyakov Gallery. The name of the Russian artist, academician and collector, unlike his creations, few people know for very objective reasons, subject to the trends of the time in which the painter lived and worked.
Osip Braz in his works masterfully combined realism with elements of impressionism and modernism, he was rightfully considered one of the outstanding Russian portrait painters of the early 20th century. However, the artist fell not only on creative success, career growth and a happy family union, but also false arrest, confiscation of the collection, and years of imprisonment spent on Solovki, and the loss of two sons and the death of his wife, which he only survived for a year. Continue reading