Selected Art - a second look
I. The East
There are many first rate paintings that just do not make it to center stage of the American imagination. This is especially true of Russian artist, on my first visit to the Hermitage in Saint-Petersburg in the 1980's I was amazed at what I had overlooked. This seems like a good time to make an inventory of great works and artist that I and, perhaps others, have passed by without a second look.
There is not much order or arrangement to the selection. Not unlike plucking wild flowers on a long walk in the country I have selected them as I found them.
Boyaryna Morozova by depicting Feodosia's arrest in 1671. She holds two fingers raised, thus showing the Old Believer's way of making the sign of the cross with two fingers, rather than with three.
She is a saint on the brink of lunacy and here is Russia as it always will be: a theatre composed of a brutal mix of pathos and low comedy, with no winners, yet somehow holy.
The Apostle Paul explains the tenets of faith in the presence of King Agrippa, his sister Berenice, and the proconsul Festus
This historical painting demonstrates that we no only take little notice of Russian art, but forget that Russia is, at its base, a Christian country.
His art is the ideal Orthodox iconography combining high asceticism and the classic harmony of Byzantine mannerism. His characters are always peaceful and calm.
When we think of cathedrals the ones in Western Europe come to mine, but Christian edifices in the East can be just as impressive.
|Valentin Aleksandrovich Serov
Girl with Peaches
When I saw this in the Tretyakov gallery I was struck, if not stricken. There were posters for sale, so I managed to get a copy to bring home to frame. It has been with me ever since.
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