English Painting and Art Galleries



                       English painting.


   Our life seems to be impossible  without  art.  It  really  occupies  an
important part in our daily life.  Art  offers  us  not  only  pleasure  and
amusement but it is also a vehicle of culture and education. Art  penetrates
into all spheres and sides of our life and makes  it  brighter,  richer  and
more intellectual. People like and know different  types  of  art.  Some  of
them are fond of painting. Others have a special liking for  music  or  they
have a passion for  literature.  But  all  of  us  cant  help  admiring  the
canvases of such great painters as Thomas Gainsborough, Rembrand etc.
   So,  art  units  different  people,  influences   the   development   of
personality, makes our innerworld richer,  feels  our  soul  with  different
feelings. It makes us stronger, inforces us in difficult situations.
   Time is flying art is forever.

   Painting in England  began  to  develop  later  than  in  over  European
countries. That's why some of the greatest foreign  masters  were  attracted
to England by the titles of nobility conferred upon them.  Holbein,  Antonio
Mor, Rubens, Van Dyck were almost English painters during longer or  shorter
periods of their lives.

   Sir Anthony Van Dyck (1599 - 1641),  who  married  the  daughter  of  an
English Lord and who died in London is considered to be the  father  of  the
English portrait school. He worked at the court of Karl I, was an  extremely
hard working  painter.  His  most  famous  works  are:  his  self  portrait,
«Portrait of the Man» and «Karl I».

   But not until William Hogarth (1697 - 1764) do we find a  painter  truly
English. Hogarth was the printers son, uneducated, but  a  curious  observer
of man and manners. His first work dates from 1730.  Among  his  best  works
are «Captain Coram», «The Shrimp Girl», serial «Mode Marriage».
   His pictures of social  life  brought  him  fame  and  position  in  the
society. One of his serials “Mode Marriage” consists  of  6  pictures.  “The
Marriage Contract” is the first.
   Both fathers are siting to the right. One of them  an  earl  is  proudly
pointing to his family tree. The other is  reading  the  marriage  contract.
The Earls son is looking at himself with  pleasure  in  looking  glass.  The
daughter of the second man is playing with her wedding  ring  and  listening
to the complements of a young lawyer. The subject matter of the  picture  is
the protest against marriage for money and vanity. Other  pictures  of  this
serial have the same subject matter.
   Hogarth was sure that success came to him due to hard  labor.  He  wrote
“Genius  is  nothing ,  labor  is  diligence.”

   Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723 - 1792) is  one  of  the  outstanding  British
portraitists, who had an important influence on his  contemporaries.  Within
a short period of time he achieved a considerable success. In 1755,  at  the
highest point of his career he painted 120 portraits.  When,  in  1768,  the
Royal Academy of Arts was founded, he naturally became its first  president.
In 1784 he became a principal painter of the King. He was a highly  educated
person, wonderful  colorist.  His  colors  are  difficult  to  judge  today,
because they were  not  scientifically  applied.  That's  why  many  of  his
paintings have  cracked  and  faided.  Among  his  best  works  are:  «Cupid
untiring the Zone of Venus» and «Mrs.  Siddons».  They  are  well-known  all
over the world. For 20 years he was the most prominent  artist  of  his  day
even in the face of rising Gainsborough.
   Thomas Gainsborough (1727 - 1788) succeeded brilliantly  as  a  portrait
painter. Society went to him for portraits. A good amateur  violinist and  a
lover of drama, he was an artistic person by  nature.  Joshua  Reynolds  and
Thomas Gainsborough created a national type of  the  English  portrait.  His
manner of painting differs from Reynolds.  Thomas  Gainsborough's  portraits
of actors, actresses and his close friends are famous. One of  his  greatest
friends was Richard Sheridan, the dramatist, whose portrait belongs  to  one
of the  best  pictures  of  this  painter.  Even  in  his  portraits  Thomas
Gainsborough is an out-of-door painter. The  backgrounds  of  his  portraits
are often well-observed country scenes. He  was  one  of  the  first  to  be
elected  to  the  newly  established  London   Academy   of   Arts.   Thomas
Gainsborough is acknowledge as an excellent women painter. “The Portrait  of
the Duchess de Befou”, ”Mrs. Siddons”, “Two Daughters” are  among  his  best
creatures.
   His portraits are  painted  in  clear  tones  in  which  blue  and  gray
predominate. One of his best pictures is the famous “Blue  boy”.  His  other
masterpiece is “The Portrait of Duchess de Befou”.
   We can see a young noble woman, her charming face is full  of  freshness
and lifeness. The charm of the expression of her face and the  coloring  are
characteristic for the artists style. Her calm pose,  the  elegance  of  her
gesture of her hand stresses her nobility. Outwardly  we  may  see  that  in
this portrait Gainsbourough followed the  rules  of  traditional  ceremonial
portraits. But it is not so. The partied lips of the woman, a timid  gesture
of her hand help to create a true impression of the sitter.
   The artist has a wonderful sense of  color,  line  and  composition.  He
makes the affective use of light and shade. The picture is  executed  mostly
in light tones in the dark background. Numerous shades of  blue  prevail  in
the picture. The combination striking of pink shades in her  face  and  body
are contrasted with gray and blue shades on  her  pounded  hair,  dress  and
scurf. It makes  the  impression  of  freshness  and  beauty.  Gainsbourough
depicts the details of her dress  skillfully.  The  woman  is  graceful  and
charming.
   The picture glorifies the idea of woman's beauty. It is exhibited in the
Hermitage in St. Petersburg.
   Thomas Gainsbourough greatly influenced the English school of  landscape
painting. He was one of the first English artists  who  painted  his  native
land. His delicate  understanding  of  nature  is  especially  felt  in  the
pictures where he showed peasants. The best landscape of his are:  “Watering
Place” and “Harvest Wagon”. Both of  them  are  exhibited  in  the  National
Gallery.
   Among his other landscapes are: “The Sunset”, “The Market Card” and “The
Cottage Door”. His great love for the countryside and his  ability  to  show
it made him an innovator in this field. He was the first English artist  who
painted his native countryside so sincerely.

   Thomas Lawrence (1768 - 1839) was the painter of kings,  princes,  great
diplomats and generals. All  these  are  presented  in  large,  full-dressed
portraits, painted with elegance. His portrait of  Vorontsov  (1821)  is  an
example of the brilliant official portrait. The portrait  presents  a  young
general, a brilliant man of fashion but it doesn't characterize his nature

   Landscape is another glory of English art because in it English art also
rose to supreme highs. John Constable (1776 -  1837)  is  one  of  the  most
outstanding  painters,  who  developed  his  own  style  of   painting.   He
considered sketch, made directly from nature, the first task of a  landscape
painter. He introduced green into his painting:  the  green  of  trees,  the
green of summer, all the greens which until then other painters had  refused
to see. He made quick sketches based on his  first  impressions  of  natural
beauties.  John  Constable  used  broken  touches  of  color.  His  work  is
important as the beginning of the impressionist school.
   He was a son of a wealthy miller. He began to take interest in landscape
painting while he was at Dedham grammar school. His father didn't favor  art
as the profession and Constable as a boy worked  almost  secretly,  painting
in the cottage of the local plumber, who was an amateur  painter  by  nature
himself. Constable left school to work for his fathers business. During  his
spare time he studied painting. His keen artistic  interest  was  so  strong
that his father allowed  him  to  visit  London  where  he  began  to  study
sketching. After 2 years in London he returned to his fathers  business  for
a year. The year spent at his fathers mill was a great importance  for  him.
He learned to watch the sky with the exactness of  a  miller,  to  note  the
direction of the wind, the significance of the  clouds.  In  1799  Constable
entered the Royal Academy school in London.
    In his paintings the artist showed the new altitude to the  nature.  He
refused to learn works of famous landscape painters and  decided  to  go  to
the country and to paint nature as he saw it.
   Constable depicted nature in his own realistic way,  he  was  the  first
artist who began to paint sketches which were as big as  paintings.  He  was
able  to  show  the  inside  life  of  nature.  John  Constables  innovation
influenced greatly the development of French landscape painting.
   In 1826, when he was 50, he showed a number of landscapes in  the  Paris
salon. Among them was the famous “Hay Wain”, painted in 1821, for which  the
painter was awarded the Gold Medal. He was elected to the Royal  Academy  in
1829, but he felt, that this honor had come too late in life  to  have  much
meaning. Among his best landscapes are: “The Flatford Mill”, “A Farm in  the
Valley”, “Hay Wain”, “The Flatford Mill”, “Cottage  door”,  Dedham  Valley”,
“The Corn Field”, etc.

   William Joseph Turner (1774 - 1851)  was the greatest English  romantic,
landscape and marine painter. He was a son of a fashionable barber,  started
drawing  and painting at his early age. His father used  to  sell  the  boys
drawings to his customers and in such a way he earned  money  for  the  boys
learning of art. At 14 he entered  the  Royal  Academy  School.  His  water-
colors were exhibited at the Royal Academy when he was only  15.  At  18  he
started his own studio and  received  a  commission  to  make  drawings  for
magazines. For some years he tramped over  Wales  and  Western  England.  As
Turner never married, he devoted his  life  to  art.  Visitors  were  rarely
admitted to his house and no one was aloud to see him at work. He loved  his
paintings as a man loves his children.  At the age of 27 he was  elected  as
a Royal Academician. From that time his paintings  became  at  great  demand
and brought good money. The last years of his life  he  spent  in  a  little
cottage at Chelsea.
   He liked to watch the sunrise and sunset. And it is said,  that  only  a
hour before his death he had his chair wheeled to the  window,  so  that  he
might look for the last time at the sun, shining upon the river.
   During his life Turner created  some  hundreds  of  paintings  and  some
thousands of water-colors and drawings.  After  his  death  his  own  entire
collection of paintings and drawings was willed  to  the  nation.  They  are
exhibited at the National and Tate Galleries in London. Some of  his  famous
pictures are: “The Fighting Temeraire”, “Rain, Steam and Speed”, “Light  and
Color”, “Fisherman at Sea” and others.
   William Turner dedicated most of his paintings to  the  sea.  He  was  a
sailor and the sea in itself absorbed him. He gave  to  his  seas  mass  and
wave as well as movement. His waves seem to be alive.
   “Calais Pier” is one of his greatest creations. The picture of  a  storm
in it is real and impressive. In the center of the picture there is  a  boat
with people in it. All the  figures  are  living  individuals.  The  farther
objects in the picture failed in the darkness, attracting our  attention  to
the people in the boat. Those who look at the picture can  smell  the  water
and hear the shout of the wind. Color as well as  tone  in  William  Turners
pictures produces the effect of sunlight.
   The name of William Turner is famous above all other landscape painters.


   So if portrait painting is one of the glories of English art,  landscape
is another: in both directions it rose to supreme highs.


                              Russian painting

   The Tretyakov Gallery

   The state Tretyakov Gallery is one of the best-known  art  galleries  in
Russia. Different genres of painting are exhibited there. It takes its  name
from its founder Pavel Tretyakov, a Moscow merchant and connoisseur. In  the
middle of the XIX th  century  Pavel  Tretyakov  began  to  collect  Russian
paintings. A man of high culture and fine aesthetic taste, he  selected  the
most  significant  and  characteristic  works  of  the  Russian  school   of
painting. He dedicated 40 years  of  his  life  to  his  main  calling:  the
establishment of a National Art Museum. Many works  of  “Peredvizhniki”  are
exhibited in this gallery.  Tretyakov  started  by  collecting  contemporary
paintings, but soon he extended the boundaries of  his  collection.  Art  of
the XIX th century, works of Brulov, Ivanov, Vasnetsov; works of Art of  the
XVIII th century and ancient Russian art - all  gradually  found  their  way
into Tretyakov`s collection. More than once he  had  to  add  wings  to  his
house in the Lavrushinskiy pereulok. In 1881 he  opened  his  collection  to
the public. In 1892 he denoted his collection to the city of  Moscow.  Since
then, the gallery had received hundreds of pictures from other  museums  and
private collections. It has a rich collection  of  old  Russian  icons.  The
world famous icon, "The Trinity”, painted in the  early  XV  th  century  by
Andrey Rubliov is exhibited there. The gallery contains  halls,  devoted  to
the magnificent works of such XVIII  th  century  celebrities,  as  Rokotov,
Levitskiy, Borovitskiy, Shchedrin. The first half of the XIX th  century  is
represented by brilliant works of  Brulov,  Ivanov,  Tropinin,  Venitsianov.
The second half is especially well represented. The  gallery  has  the  best
collection of the “Peredvizhniki”,  such  as  Kramskoy,  Perov,  Yaroshenko,
Myasoedov and others. Linked with “Peredvizhniki” are such great  names,  as
Surikov, Repin, Vereshagin, Vasnetsov, Levitan. Here you can see  historical
painting, portraits, stylists, landscapes, seascapes  and  others.  Nowadays
the gallery is an important source for studding  and  promotion  of  Russian
Art.

   The Hermitage

   The Hermitage in St.-Petersburg is one of the most famous museums in the
world. The museum's foundation dates  to  1764,  when  Katherine  the  Great
received 225 west - European  paintings  as  a  dept  from  Berlin  merchant
Yoghant Ernst Gatskovskiy. First the museum was intended to be  a  place  of
solitude, resembling the park pavilions, which  were  called  at  that  time
“Hermitages”. It consisted of two pavilions - Southern and  Northern  and  a
garden, suspended between them. Walls in the  Northern  pavilion  were  hung
with pictures. Later the whole collection of paintings and  antiquities  got
its name.

   The museum grew rapidly throw out the XVIII th century and  soon  became
one of the greatest art galleries. At the start of the  XIX  th  century  it
was reorganized into special departments and the school of  restoration  was
added.

   Today the Hermitage collection consists of some 3 million  pieces  which
are exhibited in 353 rooms, occupying 5 buildings: The Winter Palace,  Small
Hermitage, Large (Old) Hermitage, New Hermitage and Hermitage  Theatre.  All
of them can be seen from the Neva river. The museums six  departments  boast
works of art and culture, dating from ancient times to the present day.

   The  department  of  Pre-historic  culture  has  one  of   the   richest
collections of ancient archeological funds.

   The department of classical antiquity contains a  unique  collection  of
Greek and Roman sculpture, painted antique vases, cut jams and jewelry.

   The department of East houses exhibits  from  ancient  civilizations  of
Egypt, Asia, Turkey, Mongolia, China and Japan.

   The department of Russian  culture  preserves  and  exhibits  materials,
dating from early Slavic times to the second half of  the  XIX  th  century.
Here  you  can  see  old  Russian  icons,  portraits,  water-colors,  pencil
drawings, objects of applied art - porcelain, glass, stone,  metal  jewelry,
costumes, carpets and tapestries.

   The department of numismatics owns a collection of over 1 million coins,
orders, medals from different countries and times of which any world  museum
would be proud.

   The most famous of all the Hermitage departments is  the  department  of
West-European  art,  comprising  a  picture  gallery  and  a  collection  of
sculpture and decorative art.  They  date  from  the  medieval  era  to  the
present day, including canvases of the foremost  artists  of  Italy,  Spain,
Holland, France, Germany, England as well  as  sculptures,  pencil-drawings,
works of applied art.

   The Perm State Art Gallery
   The Perm State Art Gallery is one of  the  oldest  Art  museums  in  the
country. Its history began long  before  the  revolution.  The  special  art
department attached to the Perm Scientific Industrial Museum was created  in
1902 and the first exhibits were received by the  museum.  The  Art  Academy
presented paintings and 24 engravings from the  pictures  by  Repin,  Brulov
and Vasnetsov.

   In 1907 the gallery were given pictures and  landscapes  by  Vereshagin.
The  exhibition  was  organized  in  1907  and   many   works   from   Perm,
Ekaterinburgh and Vyatka were left at the gallery.

   After the revolution of 1917 the Scientific Industrial Museum  undertook
a serious and hard work in saving art values. As a result of  this  work  in
1920 the second exhibition was held in Perm. Visitors  could  observe  works
of Aivazovskiy, Vasnetsov, Korovin-Nesterov and other famous masters.  Later
the gallery was extended by exceptional examples  of  wooden  sculpture.  It
also got the pictures of the famous Russian painters of the XVII  th  -  XIX
th centuries. In such a way the gallery was enriched.

   In 1927 the Art Museum was named The Perm Gallery. In 1932 it  possessed
so many exhibits that had to move to a former cathedral, a  unique  monument
of Russian classicism. In 1945 the gallery got the name of  the  Perm  State
Art Gallery.

   Not many Art galleries of the country can match the  collection  of  the
Perm State Art Gallery in variety and  artistic  worth.  Our  gallery  ranks
with such treasuries as the Hermitage, the Tretyakov  Art  Gallery  and  the
Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts.

   Now the gallery possesses more than 36000 exhibits,  including  Russian,
Soviet and West-European paintings, sculpture, works of the  decorative  Art
and numismatics.

   The Old Wooden Sculpture of Perm represents an original  sphere  of  the
XVII th - XIX th  centuries  Russian  sculpture.  It  was  inspired  by  old
Russian Traditions  and  the  Perm  local  style  of  wood  carving.  Wooden
Sculpture of Perm is produced in the technique of sculptural relief  and  is
regarded as  “carved  icons”.  The  sculptures  are  marked  by  a  powerful
spiritual potention and produce a great emotional effect.