Barbizon School of Painting (part 1)
Far from the noise of the capital, French painters of the last century took a fancy to the area around the royal residence of Fontainebleau, which, since the time of…

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Barbizon School of Painting (part 5)
The views of the Barbizonians are many contradictory. Striving for a truthful depiction of nature, they, paradoxically, were negative towards realism, considering it too prosaic, aimed at creating "copies", and…

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Coroplasts from Tanagra (part 1)
The Greek words "tanagra", "tanagryanka" entered the Russian language about a hundred years ago. They are used today to denote everything fragile, feminine and plastic. The artist V. Serov invented…

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Chinese classical painting (part 3)

The landscape born of the artist’s imagination was always filled with the breath of life. The long scroll “Autumn in the Valley of the Yellow River”, performed in the XI century by Guo Xi, shows endless chains of mountains, old pines, huts sunk in the waves of soft fog. Peace reigns in nature. The landscape is monochrome, painted with light washings of mascara in combination with clear graphic lines. And the famous artist Ma Yuan, who lived in the XII – XIII centuries, depicting a fragile boat of a fisherman, swinging among the expanses of a winter lake, gives no coast, or even a piece of land. It creates a feeling of boundless space full of life. The excitement around the boat, marked by several strong strokes of the brush, conveys a moving water element.

The landscape of the Middle Ages, called “Shan-Shui” (“mountains of water”), is symbolic in nature. It embodied observations of the most characteristic features of the national landscape. This was facilitated by the composition, the laws of perspective worked out over the centuries. All objects are as if seen by the artist from above. The long-range plan, usually raised very high in Chinese paintings, seems infinitely distant from the front. If in painting “shan-shui” nature is majestic and immense, in another genre, called “flower-birds”, it, on the contrary, is as close as possible to a person. Images were applied not only to scrolls, but also to fans and screens, decorated with postal paper, album sheets. These miniature scenes reflected the life of plants, birds, insects. Masters who worked in this manner studied all living things, like natural scientists. They knew and perfectly conveyed the structure of each leaf, the shape of the plumage of birds, the texture of the velvety surface of a ripe fruit.

The creative experience of many generations of Chinese painters was reflected in many treatises summarizing the rules for working on a painting. They affirmed the high ideals of art. For example, explanations of the laws of perspective sounded like poems glorifying the beauty of the world. Here is an excerpt from the treatise of painter Wang Wei: “Distant figures are all without mouths, distant trees – without branches. The distant peaks are without stones: they, like eyebrows, are thin, obscure. Distant currents without a wave: they are equal in height with clouds. Such a revelation! ”

Chinese classical painting has become a significant contribution to the artistic culture of mankind. Anyone who does not spare spiritual strength to penetrate its meaning will discover a rich and complex world.

Venice School of Painting (part 3)
Carpaccio is related by poetic mood to the greatest of the Venetian painters of the 15th century - Giovanni Bellini, the youngest son of Jacopo. But his artistic interests lay…

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Egyptian ostracons (part 3)
Ostracons often go beyond traditional motives. Among them there are drawings of a parody and satirical character. A number of plots, in which parallels to fables are guessed, are almost…

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Brotherhood of the Pre-Raphaelites (part 3)
The first works with the mysterious monogram "PRB" appeared at exhibitions only in 1849. These were Lorenzo and Isabella by Milles, The Virginity of Mary by Rossetti, and Rienzi Hunt.…

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Barbizon School of Painting (part 6)
The Russian critic V.V. Stasov appreciated the Barbizonians because “they did not decorate or sweeten, but conveyed the true forms of nature, the nature of Russian, French, and at the…

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