Exhibition of Ukrainian art in the Saatchi Gallery
Within the framework of the annual festival "Days of Ukraine in the UK", which is held by the Firtash Foundation, in the London gallery Saatchi for the second time the…

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Ciphers, signs and self-portraits: How artists of the past signed their paintings
Not every masterpiece of painting contains the signature of the artist. There were reasons for this, both at the dawn of the Renaissance and in the modern era; they are…

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Unknown portrait of Da Vinci’s brush: Did the great master really write “Princess Leonardo” and whom he portrayed
It may seem that the legacy of Leonardo da Vinci has many paintings - this artist, who died five hundred years ago, is mentioned too much and too often in…

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But the album of her sister

What paintings of Russian classics were banned from showing, and for what reason they fell out of favor with censors

We used to associate censorship prohibitions with forbidden books or films. But even in such a seemingly harmless genre of art as painting, artists could go against the ideological principles of power, which is why these or those paintings were not accepted for display at public exhibitions. Several such stories occurred in the Russian Empire, and they are associated not with some little-known artists, but with universally recognized brush masters.
One of the most famous wanderers, Ilya Repin, by the 1880s, was an artist with great experience. His paintings were bought by Pavel Tretyakov, cultural figures such as the writer Turgenev and composer Mussorgsky posed for him. In addition to portraits and a social theme (for example, “Barge Haulers on the Volga”), Repin was always interested in historical subjects. The legend that Tsar Ivan the Terrible, in a fit of anger, dealt a mortal blow to his son Ivan by a staff, was known thanks to historical work, although it is difficult to judge how true it is. Continue reading

“The Great Castration”: How the shame was covered in paintings and sculptures at different times

The history of art knows many examples when, at the change of cultural eras, works created by predecessors begin to be perceived not quite correctly. Probably the most revealing in this case is the example of the appearance of fig leaves on antique statues. For the sake of preserving moral principles in the Middle Ages, thousands of ancient masterpieces underwent “great castration”. Interestingly, this tradition is gaining a “second wind” today.

The theme of nudes in art often becomes a stumbling block and still causes heated debate so far – does the artist have the right to expose her model, is this really an artistic device or just a way to attract unhealthy attention? In the case of ancient statues, it would seem that the issue was resolved a long time ago and unequivocally: they were created in the culture where nudity in men was considered normal and did not cause an ambiguous reaction. Continue reading

How the “woman with a man’s soul”, which Rubens himself painted, became the first lady of the Renaissance

The first lady of the Renaissance – such an honorary title could receive a great artist or muse for the creators of that era. But Isabella d’Este, namely, she has been holding this title for many centuries, was neither one nor the other – except that as a work of art, she took her own biography, becoming herself a source of inspiration.

Duke of Ferrara is a girl from a good family

Italy of the 15th century was a territory divided into separate states with many ruling families. One of them was the d’Este dynasty of Ferrara. The duke Ercole, a traveler and art lover, having married – not without political considerations – Leonora Neapolitan, left behind a brilliant offspring. Each of his offspring played a significant role in the state life of the peninsula, but the eldest girl, Isabella, was destined for a special fate – to become the prima donna of the Renaissance. Continue reading

"The Great Castration": How the shame was covered in paintings and sculptures at different times
The history of art knows many examples when, at the change of cultural eras, works created by predecessors begin to be perceived not quite correctly. Probably the most revealing in…

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How philanthropist Savva Mamontov revived Russian ceramics: Unique majolica Abramtseva
Everyone knows about the influence that philanthropist Savva Mamontov had on patronage of Russian culture, who gathered the greatest artists at his Abramtsevo estate. But special attention is required to…

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From cave paintings to drawings of the great Pushkin: History of a portrait profile
The profile, which in the modern world is associated primarily with self-presentation in the Internet space, in its original meaning of a half-turn, a silhouette, is almost the same age…

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Nudity in the history of art: How the attitude towards nudes from Venus of the Paleolithic to classical painting has changed
Thanks to Ivan Efremov and his "Thais of Athens" the general public became aware of the concepts of "hymnophiles" - that is, singing nudity - and "hymnophobia" - those who…

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