Art (Unit 1)

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Art (Unit 1)
Art (Unit 2)
Art (Unit 3)
Art (Unit 4)
Art (Unit 5)

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Unit I

General Problems on Art


Ex. 1. Try to answer the following questions:

1.      What purposes does true art serve?

2.      How does art help to educate the people?

3.      Do you think art can be great if it is not linked with the life of the people, their interests and ideas?

4.      Is it worth while creating pictures or sculptures if they are intended for a select few?

5.      When did the epoch of … (realism, abstractionism) begin?

6.      What brought realism to life?

7.      What is your opinion of the theory of “art for art’s safe”?

8.      How does art help us to understand the outside world?

9.      Is it at all possible that an artist to be the first to notice things that other people usually fail to see?

10.  What would happen to art if it drew its inspiration only from itself?


Ex. 2. Read and learn the new words:

to master drawing and composition

to imitate - имитировать

imitation – имитация

to get over = to overcome = to conquer – преодолеть

fruitful influence – благотворное влияние

aspiration – стремление

to convey – передавать смысл

disposition – нрав


Ex. 3. Translate from English into Russian:

Painters and their Craft:

a fashionable/self-taught/mature artist;

a portrait/landscape painter;

to paint from nature/memory/imagination;

to paint mythological/historical subjects;

to specialize in portraiture/still life;

to portray people/emotions with moving sincerity/restraint;

to depict a person/a scene of common life/the mood of…;

to render/to interpret the personality of…;

to reveal the person’s nature;

to capture the sitter’s vitality/transient expression;

to develop one’s own style of painting;

to conform to the taste of the period;

to break with the tradition;

to be in advance of one’s time;

to expose the dark sides of life;

to become famous overnight;

to die forgotten and penniless


Ex. 4. Make out the dialogues using these word combinations.


Ex. 5. Write down a short dictation on these words.


Ex. 6. Put special questions to underlined words:

1.      They are given drawing classes twice a week.

2.      Heaps of unused canvases were stacked against the wall.

3.      The table was heaped with tubes of paint, brushes and other artist’s supplies.

4.      Great popularity is enjoyed by the canvases of this genre painter.

5.      His tempera pictures have never been surpassed (превосходить).

6.      The portrait you see on the easel has just been completed by the artist.

7.      Much has been said about the relationship of sculpture and architecture.




Ex. 1. Here are two quotations. Speak about your interpretation.

a)                           “The purpose of art was and is, to hold as it were, the mirror up to nature (Shakespeare, Hamlet)

b)                          “Art is a veil rather than a mirror” (O. Wilde)


Ex. 2. Write down your essays on these topics:

1.      New trends in painting of XXI century.

2.      Your view on the role of art


Society and Art


Ex. 1. Read the dialogues and analyze the underlined word expressions. Try to translate and discuss them.

A: Hello! I’ve heard you are fond of Russian painting. Did you go to the Exibition yesterday?

B: Yes, I did. It was devoted to those realistic artists, who are known as the Itinerants (Peredvizhniki)

A: I think up to the present day the art of the Itinerants has been held in high esteem by the people. Their works constitute the pride and glory of Russian culture, don’t they?

B: Yes, they do. Even in nowadays too there is a continually growing interest in the art of the Itinerants. By the way I’ve seen a lot of visitors at the art gallery.

A: But many pictures are reproduced in editions that run into millions. You can buy them in the bookshops everywhere.

B: You see, I prefer to see these canvases in origin: I know many books have been written and albums published about the Society’s leading members, films have been made about them and even monuments erected in their honour.

A: Yes, in schools all over the country their art is a subject of study, isn’t it?

B: Yes, it is. I fully agree with you. Frankly speaking I enjoyed the exhibition seeing the canvases by those famous artists.

A: I would have visited the exhibition if you had called me. The only thing I know about it is that the Exhibition had a great success.

B: If it were not raining, I would call you. We’ll go to the museum next time. Agreed?

A: Sure. I’m looking forward to visiting this place with great pleasure. See you then.

B: Bye!




Most artists of the past had to overcome great difficulties, but being understood was not one of them. What stood in the way of immediate fame, and caused many of them to die in poverty, was not their incomprehensible language and form so much as their personal independence and boldness of ideas. Shakespeare's plays and Beethoven's symphonies were produced almost as they came from the master's hand. Rembrandt's difficulties came from the failure of his paintings to flatter a money-smug Dutch middle class. Mozart remained poor because even a most popular composer who insulted aristocratic patrons and scorned back-door politics found little money coming his way. New styles were often hotly discussed and debated, but because of their break with authority and tradition rather than because of their incomprehensibility. Often new artists were attacked, not because they were not understood, but because their ground-breaking ideas were too well understood and not welcomed.


Ex. 2. Read and translate the text using a dictionary.


Ex. 3. Put questions to the text.


Ex. 4. Find out the main idea to the text.


Ex. 5. Speak about questions arising in the text.


Ex. 6. Do you have your own ideas on the subject?


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