Art (Unit 4)

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



Unit IV.

Power of Realism


Ex. 1. Read and discuss the text:

A. Venetsianov "In the harvest Field: Summer"
.  " : "A. Venetsianov

A. Venetsianov (1780-1847) didnt come of a family of artists, neither did he study at the Academy of Fine Arts. Actually a self-taught artist, he became a leader of a whole school of Russian painters. He contributed to the history of Russian culture much that was new and original. In fact, his creations marked the birth of Russian genre and landscape painting. There are the most outstanding productions of this master:

Peasant Woman of the Tver Province, Sleeping Maiden, Woman bathing, Girl with a Concertina, Fortunetelling with Cards, Girl wearing a Shawl, Woman Spinning, Girl with Cornflowers, In the Harvest Field: Summer, In the Field: Spring, Harvesters, Peasant Woman with Scythe and Rake (Pelageya), Nurse and Child, Zakharka, Girl with a Birch-bark Jar, There goes Fathers Dinner, Dairymaid, Peasant Boy putting on Bast Shoes, Reaper, Two Peasant Boys with a Kite, Peasant Children in the Field, Sleeping Shepherd Boy, The Morning of the Country Lady, Beet-peeling Time, Threshing Barn, Portrait of M. Fonvizin, and others.


Ex. 2. Put questions to the text and make up a plan of it.


Ex. 3. Look at these two pictures by Aleksey Venetsianov and say to which of these two given description belongs.

A. Venetsianov In the Field: Spring
.   :

A. Venetsianov In the Field: Spring

. :


A. Venetsianov Reapers (1820)
.   (1820)

A. Venetsianov Reapers (1820)

. (1820)


These works are painted with a fine brush, in free and light strokes. The artist is sparing in his use of artistic devices, but his sparsity is a sign of mature talent. They are based on a sort of synthesis of genre and portrait painting. These works show that the artist took great pain to record the individual characteristics of his models as faithfully as possible.

In this picture we come across the same faces, it is not difficult to recognize the now grown-up Zakharka with his mother. This canvas shows that the artist was searching for new, more sophisticated compositions. This, however, in no way affected either his choice of subjects or his manner of execution. The artist did not idealized his models, but tried to convey faithfully the best that was in them. During the 1830s his mastery continued to grow. Remaining faithful to his themes and his realistical approach to nature, he was searching for new ways to enhance the emotional power of his pictures and to invest them with deeper content. His first step in this direction was the picture Harvesters. It expresses the wealth of ideas. The concept of the Homeland is conveyed through concrete visual images aided by the fine and precise use of artistic techniques.


Ex. 4. Put 15 questions to the text.


Ex. 5. Discussion:

a)      Do you agree or disagree with what was said about the works of Aleksey Venetsianov?

b)      How do you understand his words: Talents flourish when they are lead along the ways for which they are destined by Nature


Ex. 6. Comment on the following statements:

a)      Only skilled artists should draw from live models.

b)      Reality in art arises from the awareness of the artist for life.

c)      Art has educative mission.

d)      It is said that the role of the artist in society has always been and always will be to express the life of his day.


Ex. 7. Explain the use of the verbs should and would, where would is an equivalent of used to and where if is an equivalent of weather:

a)      His mother was confident that he would be successful and was pleased at his determination to become a painter.

b)      When he told his family that he would go to study, they agreed that it would be a wise move although his parents would miss him.

c)      He asked if the two would pose for him.

d)      He would sit at his window for hours with his pencil and drawing paper.

e)      His hand was clumsy and stuff, but he would get the line he had in mind on the paper.

f)        He was working all day long, but those sketches would not come right.

g)      Our art should be an art of the people.


Ex. 8. There are some pictures by A. Venetsianov.

a)      Put 7 questions to each picture.

b)      Describe the painting you like best.

c)      Speak on the artist, and his works.


.  "" (1821)
A. Venetsianov "Threshing Barn" (1821)

.  " " (1823-1826)
A. Venetsianov "Sleeping Shepherd Boy" (1823-1826)

.  "  " (1841)
A. Venetsianov "Fortunetelling with Cards" (1840)

. "" (1821)

A. Venetsianov "Threshing Barn" (1821)

. " " (1823-1826)

A. Venetsianov "Sleeping Shepherd Boy" (1823-1826)

. " " (1841)

A. Venetsianov "Fortunetelling with Cards" (1840)



K. Bryllov "A Lady on Horseback" (1832)
.  "" (1832)Karl Pavlovich Bryllov


Karl Bryllov was a son of academician of ornamental sculpture Pavel Bryllov. He was born in St. Petersburg and at the age of 9 became a pupil at the Academy of Arts, where his elder brothers were already enrolled. Many leading artists of the time A. Ivanov, A. Yegorov noticed Bryllovs rare abilities at an early age. In August 1822 Karl and his brother Alexander went to Italy as beneficiaries of the newly founded Society of the Encouragement of Artists. Bryllovs work in Rome commenced with a study of Raphael Vatican frescos and antique sculpture. What appeared to him in the work of great painters of the past Raphael, Titian, Rembrandt was their verisimitude. Bryllov applied himself to genre painting and produced Italian Midday (1824). The artists delight in the beauty of nature and in the free manifestation of human emotions reused his interest in the small chamber portrait and in the picture portrait. He painted Self-Portrait (1833), A.P. Bryllov (1841), G.G. Gagarin (1833) and water-colour portraits of the Olenins, and Countess O.P. Fersen with a Donkey (1835); his large group-portraits of Prinsess Yelena Pavlovna and her Daughter (1830) and the famous portrait A Lady on Horseback (1832) received a particularly warm reception.


Speech Exercises


Ex. 1. Read and translate the text using a dictionary if necessary.


Ex. 2. Find out the English equivalents to Russian ones:

, , , , , , , , , , , .


Ex. 3. Put questions to the text.


Ex. 4. Describe the early career of K. Bryllov.


Ex. 5. Look at his famous picture and describe it:

.  "  " (1833)
K. Bryllov "The Last Day of Pompeii" (1833)

. " " (1833)

K. Bryllov "The Last Day of Pompeii" (1833)


Ex. 6. Put questions to this picture.


Ex. 7. Look at the picture by Bryllov Italian Midday and answer the questions:

K. Bryllov Italian Midday (1872)

K. Bryllov Italian Midday (1872)

a)      This is a picture of a young woman, isnt it?

b)      Is it a picture of a Russian woman, or Italian woman? How do you think?

c)      What can you see in the foreground?

d)      What season is shown at the painting?

e)      What kind of portrait is it?

f)        Where is the young woman standing?

g)      How is she dressed?

h)      What is she carrying in her hand?

i)        What is she admiring at?

j)        What can we see in the background? Can we see the whole of the garden or only part of it?

k)      Do you think the girl is happy?

l)        What are the brightest spots in the painting?

m)    The picture shows the immediacy of human feelings in simple, every day things, doesnt it?

n)      A young Italian woman is plucking a bunch of grapes amid dense greenery, isnt she?

o)      Do the suns rays pierce the foliage of the vineyard, flitting over the girls arms, face and clothes?

p)      Can you say that the atmosphere in a painting is a vital link between man and nature?


Ex. 8. Read the description of the picture Italian Midday and translate.

This picture belongs to genre painting and is exhibited in Russian Museum in St. Petersburg.

It was painted in 1872 by K. Bryllov in Italy. It is full of the joy of living. Bryllov saw beauty in the profusion of sensations in life, in the immediacy of human feelings, in simple, everyday things. His views of the tasks of art manifested itself clearly in Italian Midday. A young Italian woman is plucking a bunch of grapes amid dense greenery. The gentle outline of her head, shoulders and arms, the colour on her cheeks and dazzle of her moist eyes all sparkle with the joy of existence. Everything sparkles with a full-blooded awareness of life and with a sense of being at one with nature. The suns rays pierce a foliage vineyard, flitting over the girls arms, face and clothes; the atmosphere is one of the vital link between man and nature.


Ex. 9. Describe the picture close to the text, or learn the text by heart.


Ex. 10. Learn the following dialogue:

-- Have you ever been to the Russian Museum in St. Petersburg?

-- Yes, I have. Ive been there twice.

-- Did you like the collections of Russian paintings there?

-- Yes, I did. I enjoyed seeing Russian collections greatly. The 19th century masters are nicely represented in the halls of the State Russian Gallery.

K. Bryllov "Countess Y.P. Samoilova Leaving the Ball with her Adoptive Daughter Amazilia Paccini" (1842)-- What was your impression of those painters?

-- I wasnt disappointed. Particularly I paid attention on Bryllovs works.

-- What are the most famous pictures you saw there?

-- Among the best are those of V.A. Perovsky (1836), Y.P. Saltykova (1839) and especially, the picture portrait Countess Y.P. Samoilova Leaving the Ball with her Adoptive Daughter Amazilia Paccini (1842).

-- Ive heard the last work has an unusual allegorical meaning.

-- Yes, you are right. The masquerade in it is associated here with falseness and emptiness of beau monde.

-- How did the artist achieve the great contrast between the power and a girl in a whit veil, personifying innocence?

-- Bryllov achieved especial success in realist psychological portraiture. He brilliantly showed the images of the proud and independent Countess Samoilova and the pensive, tender Amazilia Paccini.

-- Yes, I see. These full-length portraits are very attractive and impressive. It is wonderful. The colours are beyond my imagination. Would you mind visiting this museum once more?

-- Yes, I would. I am anxious to see these masterpieces once more.


Ex. 11. Practice reading the following words, word combinations and sentences. Learn them by heart.

a)      to be not disappointed

b)      I am anxious to see

c)      profusion

d)      sensation ,

e)      immediacy

f)        to sparkle

g)      to pierce ,


Ex. 12. Speak about K. Bryllov using the new words and word combinations.


Ex. 13. Look at the picture and answer the questions:

K. Bryllov Self-Portrait (1848)
.   (1848)

K. Bryllov Self-Portrait (1848) TG

. (1848) ..

a)      What kinds of genre does this canvas belong to?

b)      Is it a Self-Portrait by K. Bryllov?

c)      Where is it exhibited now?

d)      In what year was it created?

e)      Is it a gala portrait or a chamber one?

f)        Is it a real gem of Russian portraiture?

g)      Does Bryllov achieve especial success in realist psychological portraiture?

h)      Is it a full-length portrait or a half-length portrait?

i)        Does this work of art capture you?

j)        Is it an example of real external similarity and deep penetrating in a mans soul?

k)      What parts does the painter particularly bring out in the self-portrait?

l)        Have you an impression that Bryllov was ill during the period of creating this work?

m)    Is it a kind of autobiography of the artist?

n)      What colours did the painter use for his portrait?

o)      What appeals to you most in this famous Self-Portrait by K. Bryllov?


Ex. 14. Look at the picture The last Day of Pompeii (see above) and answer the questions:

a)      When was the painting The last Day of Pompeii created?

b)      Was it the most important work of the artist K. Bryllov?

c)      Where is it displayed now in Russia?

d)      What does the picture deal with?

e)      Is it a tragedy of Roman city that perished when Vesuvius erupted?

f)        It took him 6 years to complete the canvas, didnt it?

g)      Why did he study documents relating to the destruction of Pompeii and other historical and archeological materials?

h)      K. Bryllov visited the excavations at Herculaneum and Pompeii, didnt he?

i)        Can we say that the action in the canvas develops swiftly and occupies an enormous area?

j)        What do you feel looking at the city in a whole confusion?

k)      What colours did the painter use to show the sky and lightning?

l)        Is there a sharp contrast of light and shadow?

m)    What are these people doing? What do they feel?

n)      Can we say that even in this tragic moment of their lives the people are classically beautiful?

o)      Do people think only about themselves? Do they pity and mercy at this moment?

p)      Did k. Bryllov succeed in conveying the most valuable thing in people love of ones neighbour?

q)      What problems troubled the artist are depicted in this unforgettable painting?

r)       Does this picture help us to overcome the difficulties and even tragedy if we are inspired by worthy ideas?

s)       Can we say that destruction, confusion and dynamism of this canvas mirror the age of crises felt by everyone?

t)        Had the painter broken with the traditions of classicism: idealization of nature, canonical positioning of the figures, conventional light and colour?

u)      What was new in this canvas? Do you see the mass character of the scene, the absence of the obligatory main hero, the dynamic quality?

v)      Do you think that the most important thing in this picture is the artists interest in the mans inner world?

w)    Did K. Bryllov achieved his desire to show the complexity of feelings?

x)      Why did the picture The Last Day of Pompeii make its triumphant tour of exhibitions all over the Europe, from Rome and Milan to Paris and St. Petersburg?

y)      Its success was enormous, wasnt it?

z)       Was the painter awarded a gold medal in Paris, because the canvas was declared an epic?

aa)   The painting was greeted ecstatically by progressive Russian critics, wasnt it?


Ex. 15. Find and describe any picture by K. Bryllov.


Ex. 16. Put your own questions to the picture.


Ex. 17. What other painters of the same genre do you know?


Ex. 18. Make a project:

a)      What English artist do you associate K. Bryllov with?

b)      Your favourite paintings in Russia and Great Britain