Cristobal Balenciaga once said that “a good fashion designer should be an architect for patterns, a sculptor for form, an artist for design, a musician for harmony, and a philosopher for fit.” And it is not surprising that in the 20th century he ruled high fashion with innovative clothing inspired by unusually traditional Spanish sources. The Basque fashion designer took replicas from regional clothing, folk costumes, bullfights, flamenco dances, Catholicism and, of course, from the history of painting. And in the end, he created what conquered the world for centuries.
The Balenciaga collection is full of stocky silhouettes, stooped shoulders and neat trouser lines. But the fashion house today, under the leadership of Demna Gvasalia, represents a completely different aesthetic than what Cristobal himself did during his lifetime. “They cannot be compared,” explains Eloy Martinez de la Pera, curator of the new Balenciaga and Spanish Painting exhibition in Madrid, which combines ninety works of the Balenciaga couture with 56 masterpieces of Spanish painting that inspired the designer. “Balenciaga’s story ended when he stopped making clothes. His story was extremely personal, but today Balenciaga has a completely different story, and it is also worth telling. ” And in order to truly recognize Cristobal himself, it is important to know the key elements of Spanish art that shaped his aesthetic vision. 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