Social Life 1 (Unit 6)

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Unit 6

Beauty in Art


Vocabulary Exercises

Ex. 1 Do you know the meaning of these words? Choose five words that you know and explain them to another student

original, masterpiece, reproduction, landscape, drawing, seascape, sketch, subject, ink, title, print, gallery, poster, museum, illustration, exhibition, collection, water-colour


Ex. 2 What’s the difference? Explain the difference between the following pair of words:

1.      abstract/representational

2.      landscape/countryside

3.      shape/pattern

4.      portrait/still life

5.      striking/moving

6.      masterpiece/old master


Ex. 3 Re-order these words in terms of strength of colour. Compare your answers in pairs. Mind colour is often subjective.

strong, subtle, brilliant, muted, vivid, deep, soft, faint, bright, bold, intense, vibrant


Ex. 4 Discuss in groups:

-- Which do you prefer – paintings or photographs? Why?

-- What kind of paintings do you like?

-- Is there anything you really don’t like?


Ex. 5 Make up dialogues using the following expressions:

-- What do you think it represents?

-- I think it symbolizes…

-- I just don’t understand this stuff.

-- It doesn’t do anything for me.

-- … not my kind of thing.

-- I don’t think much of it.

-- Pretentious… A load of rubbish.

-- I prefer something more…


Text I


Gainsborough "Portrait of Duchess de Beaufort"

Gainsborough "Portrait of Duchess de Beaufort"

Thomas Gainsborough (1727-1788) was an outstanding English painter of the 18th century. He was a brilliant portraitist and was a favourite of the aristocracy. The artist's deep psychological approach enabled him to impart a poetic expression of individuality.

Gainsborough's "Portrait of Duchess de Beaufort" is an outstanding work of art. The artist depicts a graceful and attractive young woman. She has a pleasant oval face, straight eyebrows and black eyes, a straight nose and well-shaped delicate hands. You can see that she is an aristocrat.

Her rather pale complexion is contrasted by the dark colour of the background (the dark background was traditional in Gainsborough's time). The artist enlivens the face by a little colour on her cheeks.

Her greyish hair is combed very high and fastened with a comb and a blue ribbon, as was the fashion in those days. The dress is very low cut, also according to the fashion of the day.

The portrait is painted in cold colours (black, blue, grey, white). At first sight you may think that it is a traditional ceremonial portrait, but if you look attentively, you will see that her parted lips, fleeting glance, and graceful gesture of her hand help to create a true impression of the sitter's vitality and optimism. The woman in the picture is alive, and we have a feeling that she is looking at us.


Ex. 6 Read the text. Get the information about the painter, and the person in the picture. Study the portrait. Give a detailed description. Make use of the words in the box. Follow the instructions below.

   Introduction: the epoch, the painter, the person depicted, his/her social status

   Appearance: how he/she looks

   Character: good/bad points; how he/she behaves, his/her temperament; occupation, interests

   Reasons for liking/disliking.

   Conclusion: final comments, your feelings.

Comprehension Exercises

Ex. 1 Find synonyms to Russian words in the text

традиционный парадный портрет


приоткрытые губы

мимолетный взгляд

изящный жест

живость и оптимизм модели живой

любимец аристократии

передавать поэтическую экспрессию личности


приятное овальное лицо

прямые брови

изящные правильной формы руки

довольно бледный цвет лица




ее сероватые волосы зачесаны очень высоко

скреплены гребнем

голубая лента


платье с очень глубоким вырезом

в соответствии с

на первый взгляд


Ex. 2 Put questions to the text using the following words and words expressions:

a favourite portraitist of the aristocracy

to impart a poetic expression of individuality


a pleasant oval face

straight eyebrows

well-shaped delicate hands

rather pale complexion

is contrasted



her greyish hair is combed very high


Ex. 3 Give Russian equivalents to the English ones:

fastened with a comb

a blue ribbon


the dress is very low cut

according to

at first sight

a traditional ceremonial portrait


parted lips

a fleeting glance

graceful gesture

the sitter's vitality and optimism



Ex. 4 Translate the dialogue using the words from exercises 2 and 3

А: Извините, пожалуйста.

В: Да?

А: Меня интересует английская живопись. Есть ли у вас в музее картины английских мастеров?

В: Да, у нас есть небольшая, но изысканная коллекция английского искусства. Вот спуститесь по этой лестнице, пересеките зал импрессионистов, и вы будете там.

А: Спасибо. Вы, конечно, знаете "Портрет герцогини де Бофор" знаменитого художника Гейнсборо?

В: О да. У нас есть оригинал этой картины. Это поистине шедевр мирового искусства.

А: Какая удача! Я видела только копию этой картины и так хочу посмотреть оригинал. Гейнсборо – блестящий портретист.

В: Да, я знаю. Он был любимым портретистом аристократии и написал чудесные портреты. Но "Герцогиня де Бофор", конечно, его шедевр.

А: Да, художник обладал способностью изображать сходство, а также передавать поэтическую экспрессию личности.

В: Да, я согласна с вами. Глубокий психологический подход художника дает ему возможность правдиво изображать натуру. У нас такое чувство, что дама смотрит на нас.

А: Спасибо. Было очень интересно поговорить с вами.

В: Желаю удачи.



Ex. 1 Look at the picture and give a detailed description of it, using a vocabulary of this unit

Thomas Gainsborough. 'Mrs. Siddons'. 1785

Thomas Gainsborough. 'Mrs. Siddons'. 1785


Text II

Valentin Alexandrovich Serov (1865-1911)

Valentin Serov was born in St. Petersburg, the son of the well-known composer Alexander Serov. In his childhood the future artist was steeped in an artistic atmosphere: not only musicians, but also artists such as Mark Antokolsky and Ilya Repin were visitors to the house, and Alexander Serov himself was an ardent amateur artist. His son's powers of observation and talent for drawing became apparent from an early age and the conditions in which he grew up were conducive to their development. At first he studied under the German etcher A. Kemping, and then he was taught by Repin, whom his mother had shown his drawings, on the advice of Antokolsky.

Repin gave the young Serov his first lessons in Paris and continued them in Moscow and Abramtsevo. After a trip with his talented pupil to Zaporozhye, Repin sent him in 1880 to the celebrated Pavel Chistyakov at the Academy of Arts.

Here the young artist's talent won admiration and respect all round. Chistyakov remarked that he had never come across anyone endowed with so much versatile artistic talent: 'Drawing, colouring, chiaroscuro, characterisation, a sense of the wholeness of his task, composition— Serov could cope with all these things, and cope with them to the highest degree.'

The artist's friends valued his human qualities too, especially his straightforwardness and honesty.

The formation of Serov's artistic outlook was greatly affected by his life at Abramtsevo and Domotkanovo, not far from Moscow. He came to love the central-Russian countryside with its groves, glades, ravines, coppices and villages. And the estate of the famous art-patron Mamontov at Abramtsevo, where Korovin and Vrubel worked on stage decorations, where there was a majolica workshop, and a successful private opera house, inspired the young artist to great creative heights. At the age of twenty-two or twenty-three Serov produced works which have become classics of Russian art.


Comprehension Exercises


Ex. 1 Answer the questions:

1.      When and where was V.A. Serov born?

2.      What was his father?

3.      In what atmosphere was V. Serov steeped in his childhood?

4.      Who were the famous artists visited his house?

5.      Who were his teachers?

6.      What were Serov’s artistic talents?

7.      What did his friends value him for?

8.      What was the formation of Serov’s artistic outlook greatly affected by?

9.      What was his attitude towards the central-Russian country-side?

10.  At what age did he produce works which have become classics of Russian art?


Ex. 2 Give the definition of the following words and word combinations:

a composer, childhood, artist, musician, etcher, art-patron, to cope with, to be inspired, on the advice of.


Ex. 3 Find out some facts about Serov’s biography and tell the class.


Ex. 4 Describe the self-portrait of Serov


Valentin Serov. Self-Portrait

Valentin Serov. Self-Portrait


Ex.5. Read, act and learn the following dialogue:

V. Serov. Portrait of the Actress YermolovaA: I like portraits by Serov.

B: So do I. He was a very talented artist. He was able to portray likeness ideally.

A: And not only that. The artist’s deep psychological approach enabled him to create a true impression of the sitter.

B: Certainly. I especially like his “Portrait of the Actress Yermolova”. Do you remember it?

A: Of course, I do. This portrait is outstanding work of art.

B: Indeed. We can say it’s a masterpiece of world painting. How laconically and forcefully the artist reveals the creative spirit of the actress!

A: He was deeply impressed by her acting and tried to import the greatness of the human spirit and strength of the individual.

B: And did it very skillfully. Her figure in a black dress, standing out in graceful silhouette against the background of the grey-blue walls, looks very impressive.

A: And the folds of the dress, falling to the floor, seem to form a pedestal.

B: That’s right. No wonder, Serov was recognized by his contemporaries as the finest portrait painter of the period.


Ex. 5 Find out the following words and word combinations from the dialogue

идеально, лаконично и сильно, раскрывает творческий дух, он был под глубоким впечатлением от ее игры, передать величие человеческого духа, сила человека, искусно, фигура, грациозный силуэт, на фона стены, выглядит очень впечатляюще, складки платья, ниспадающие на пол, образует как бы



Ex. 1 Read and translate the text


Serov did not intend to expose faults, he merely sharpened those features which were sometimes deeply hidden and not immediately apparent to everyone. If he liked a person, even though it was an official commission, the master's brush would produce an attractive image: for example, Z. Yusupova (1902, RM) is charmingly feminine and gentle, and G. Girshman (1907, TG) is a pleasing image of aristocratic refinement.

Serov's painting and drawing skills are quite outstanding. The great emotional effectiveness of his works can be explained by his ability to find precisely the right means of representation and to embody a many-faceted picture of life in a perfect form. Take any of Serov's portraits: it is not just a talented reproduction of some individual's features, but an image of the world in which that person lives.

These years also saw Serov achieve perfection as a graphic-artist. His portrait-drawings of the singer Fyodor Chaliapin, the actor and stage-director Konstantin Stanislavsky, the actors Ivan Moskvin and Vasily Kachalov, the composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, the artist Mikhail Vrubel and the writer Leonid Andreyev are the pride of Russian art.

Around the turn of the century the artist treated themes from earlier Russian history, producing a cycle of pencil drawings, guaches, water-colours and pictures in tempera and oils. These small compositions are extremely vibrant, as though done from nature (cf. Peter the Second and Yelizaveta Petrovna Set Out on the Hunt, 1900, RM).

In May 1907 Serov went to Greece, which' made a deep impression on him. He was delighted by the decorative qualities and balance of classical architecture. In an effort to express what he saw, and to convey the essence and beauty of ancient Greek mythology, he painted a picture based on the legend The Abduction of Europa (1910, TG) and several versions of Odysseus and Nausika (1910, TG, RM).

Serov's work in the theatre was also interesting: his curtain for the ballet Scheherazade was greatly admired in Paris and London.

His interest in monumental-decorative art led to the highly original portrait of the dancer Ida Rubinstein (1910, RM). The artist found reminders of the Orient in the dancer's appearance, and compared her with the figures of classical bas-reliefs.

In his last works Serov strove towards increased expressiveness of form. This is very evident in his portraits of O. Orlova (1911, RM), V. Girshman (1911, TG), and especially G. Girshman (1911, TG) and in the unfinished portrait of P. Shcherbatova.

Early on the morning of 22 November 1911 Valentin Serov was hurrying to the Shcherbatovs for a portrait sitting when he fell and suffered an attack of stenocardia. He died at the peak of his talent, at the age of forty-six.

His death shocked his contemporaries. The poet Valery Bryussov, an ardent admirer of the artist, wrote: 'Serov was a realist in the best sense of the word. He unerringly saw the secret truth of life, and the things he painted revealed the very essence of phenomena, which other eyes cannot even see.'


Ex. 2 Describe each of the paintings


V. Serov. The Abduction of EuropaV. Serov. Portrait of Anna Pavlova

V. Serov. The Abduction of Europa                    V. Serov. Portrait of Anna Pavlova


Ex. 3 Say as many sentences as you can, using the following substitution pattern:



W. Hogarth


I. Repin

V. Serov

I. Levitan

I. Shishkin

K. Bruyllov




an outstanding

a brilliant

a prominent

a famous

a well-known

a wonderful

the great

painter of


pastoral picture




genre scenes

battle scenes



Ex. 4 Study the word subject

subject (n) –    1. a thing or a person that is being discussed or described

                       2. a topic or theme

                       3. a person or thing that is the main feature of a picture or a photograph

                       4. a branch of knowledge

subject-matter – the information or ideas contained in a book, speech, e.t.c., as contrasted with the style in which they are presented.


Ex. 5 Render the following sentences:

1. Everyone knows how high passions sometimes run when art is the subject of dispute. 2. Landscape is probably the most popular of the subjects which the Dutch painted. 3. Genre painting is a major category of subject-matter in seventeenth century Dutch painting. 4. Dressed or nude, she provides the subject for many canvases by the great painter. 5. He used the subject of this particular picture once before. 6. We shall soon discover, that the beauty of a picture does not really lie in the beauty of its subject-matter.


Ex. 6 Arrange the following in pairs of antonyms:

success, worthy, dependence, happy, wrong, to neglect, richness, poor, easy, failure, worthless, independence, unhappy, right, to pay attention, poverty, different, rich


Ex. 7 Translate the following groups of words into Russian:

to paint – painter – painterly – painting;

to depict – pictorial – picture – picturesque;

to master – master – mastery – masterpiece;

to portray – portrayal – portrait – portraitist – portraiture;

worth – worthy – worthless.


Beauty in Nature


Text 1

Read the text

G. Morland. "Approaching Storm."

George Morland (1763-1804) was an outstanding English artist of the 18th century and a brilliant painter of landscape. Like many artists, he turned to nature for inspiration. He had an instinctive feeling for nature. Among his pictures, "The "Approaching Storm" is truly remarkable. It is, indeed, a masterpiece of world painting. Looking at the picture, you can easily understand how keenly the artist felt nature in every detail. He was able to impart a sinister atmosphere of the coming storm. You feel the threatening silence before the storm. The sky is overcast. The first gust of wind shakes the tees, the next moment it will start raining.

The artist enlivens the landscape by two hoses and a dog muddling together in a little group, seeking protection from man in danger. This landscape is typical example of sentimental and poetic painting.


Vocabulary Practice

Ex. 1 Describe the picture close to the text, or learn the text by heart.


Ex. 2 Find the English equivalents from the text

как и многие художники; поистине замечательный; типичный пример сентиментальной и поэтической живописи; легко; остро; чувствовал природу; каждая подробность; грозное затишье перед бурей; небо затянуто тучами; первый порыв ветра раскачивает деревья; сгрудившиеся вместе в маленькую группу; ища защиты у человека; опасность.


Ex. 3 Which is the odd word out?

a)      outstanding, brilliant, remarkable, threatening

b)      artist, painter, architect, composer, engineer

c)      sky, storm, wind, atmosphere, nature, example


Ex. 4 Give definitions to the following words:

artist, landscape, masterpiece, outstanding


Ex. 5 Render the context of the dialogue

A: Какие картины вы любите?

В: Я предпочитаю пейзаж.

А: Кто ваш любимый пейзажист?

В: Вы знаете, это очень трудно сказать. Во все времена было столько талантливых мастеров.

А: Вы правы. И во все времена художники обращались к природе за вдохновением.

В: Да-да. Талантливый художник обладает инстинктивным чувством природы. Вы помните английского художника XVII века Джорджа Морлэнда?

А: О да, конечно. Это выдающийся мастер пасторальных сцен.

В: В Эрмитаже есть его картина «Приближение грозы».

А: А, да, я знаю. Мне нравится эта картина. Я бы сказал, что это типичный пример сентиментальной живописи.

В: А вы заметили, как реалистична картина? Глядя на нее, вы чувствуете грозное затишье перед бурей. На небе собираются темные тучи.

А: Да-да. Первый порыв ветра раскачивает деревья, и вы чувствуете, что в следующий момент пойдет дождь.

В: А вы обратили внимание, как художник оживляет пейзаж группой: человек, две лошади и собака на переднем плане.

А: Да, конечно. Без этой группы картина не выглядела бы такой живой.


Text II

Fyodor Alexandrovich Vasiliev (1850-1873)

Fyodor Alexandrovich Vasiliev (1850-1873)Fyodor Vasiliev was born at Gatchina, into the family of a low-rank post-office official. When he was twelve the family moved to St. Petersburg and settled on the Vasilievsky Island. Fyodor's childhood was joyless, with his family in constant material difficulties. For a time the future artist worked as a postman and then joined the drawing school run by the Society for the Furtherance of the Arts. Two small, freshly-coloured landscapes — In the Church Grounds (1867, RM) and A Village Yard (1867, RM) — and several drawings, the best of which were done on the island of Valaam, all date from this period.

The young artist was exhilarated by the beauty of the wild, untouched scenery of Valaam, which he visited with Ivan Shishkin in 1867. Shishkin gave him advice, teaching him to observe nature closely and to depict it in minute detail. Shishkin's influence can partly be seen in Vasiliev's early landscape A Village (1868, TG), although it is even closer to some Russian landscapes of the early nineteenth century. The motif is commonplace. The landscape is narrative. With small brush-strokes, the artist gives a detailed description of run-down cottages, a winding road and pools of water reflecting the clouds. The composition suffers from being rather fragmented, however, and the colour harmony is not quite right.

Having finished the drawing school in 1868, Vasiliev was drawn towards the St. Petersburg Artists' Artel. Witty and charming, he soon became everybody's favourite, but he was particularly friendly with Ivan Kramskoi. Kramskoi never ceased to admire the young man's extraordinary giftedness, likening him to 'a rich man in a fairy tale, who at the same time is fabulously generous and flings his riches in handfuls in all directions, without counting them or even appreciating their value'.

Vasiliev spent the summer of 1869 first at Znamenskoye, Stroganov's Tambov estate, then at Khoten in the Ukraine. The fruit of this trip was the painting After the Rain (1869, TG) in which the artist strove not only to give a concrete representation of the motif, but to convey the state of nature: the earth moist from recent rain, the freshness of the foliage, the puddles sparkling in the rays of sunlight breaking through the storm-clouds. In this landscape one can already hear the lyrical notes that would sound in all of Vasiliev's subsequent works.


Vocabulary Practice

Ex. 1 Answer the questions:

1.      When and where was F. Vasiliev born?

2.      At what age did his family move to St. Petersburg?

3.      What was his childhood?

4.      Did he get a special education?

5.      What was the young artist exhilarated by?

6.      Whose influence can be seen in Vasiliev’s early landscape “A Village” (1868)?

7.      When did he finish the drawing school?

8.      Whom was he particularly friendly with?

9.      What was the first of his trip in 1869?

10.  What did the artist reveal in his painting “After the Rain”?


Ex. 2 Match the word corresponding to these definitions.

1.      A place where you can go and see paintings

2.      A painting by a famous painter of a previous period

3.      The name given to paintings of static objects, for example, fruit or flowers

4.      A word used to describe a painting of the countryside

5.      A word used to describe very strong colours

6.      A word used to describe very good painting

7.      A word used to describe very weak colours

8.      The name given to the sort of picture found in books often to accompany text.

9.      The name given to authentic painting as opposed to a copy


a.       illustration

b.      original

c.       landscape

d.      masterpiece

e.       brilliant/vivid/bright/intense/vibrant

f.        abstract

g.       gallery/museum/exhibition

h.       still life

i.         old master


Ex. 3 Study the verb paint

1.      to be not so black as one is painted – быть не таким уж плохим, как стараются представить

2.      to paint smb. black – очернить кого-то

3.      to paint smth. red – подать в яркой, сенсационной форме

4.      to cut the painter – отделаться

5.      woolly painting – письмо грубым мазком


Ex. 4 Read and translate the description of the picture. Give your own opinion.

Text III

In winter of 1871 Vasiliev had contracted tuberculosis and in July he went to Yalta at the expence of the Society for the Furtherance of Arts. In Yalta he continued to paint – from sketches, studies and memories. In 1872 the artist produced his masterpiece “A Wet Meadow(TG) — a generalised evocation of Russian nature. The fine balance of the composition, the complex colour relations and the picture's smooth rhythm convey an impression of grandeur and significance. A Wet Meadow is one of the finest examples of Russian landscape-painting.

F. Vasiliev. A Wet Meadow (1872)

F. Vasiliev. A Wet Meadow (1872)


Ex. 5 Choose a reproduction of a famous picture and prepare a description of it.


Ex. 6 Arrange the following in pairs of synonyms:

to realize, desire, actual, man-made, discuss, to see, to reply, to express, to ask, to be acquainted, to try, to produce, deep, skill, sitter, to understand, wish, real, artificial, to view, to leave, to answer, to convey, to inquire, to be familiar, to seek, to create, profound, mastery, to argue.


Comprehension Exercises

Ex. 1 Read, translate and learn the following dialogue

A.        How did you like your visit to the Tretyakov Gallery?

B.        Oh, I enjoyed it. I have never seen such a rich collection of Russian painting.

A.        Yes, it's a fine collection, of course. I am sure that a lot of pictures drew your attention. Are there any pictures that you especially liked?

B.        Well, it's really difficult to choose among such a lot of masterpieces of world painting. But I remember being charmed by one landscape. It depicts the approach of a thunderstorm and is painted with great talent. The artist was able to impart a sinister atmosphere of the coming storm. Only I can't remember what the picture is called or the name of the painter.

A.        Try to describe the picture. Perhaps, I will help you.

B.        Well, it's a forest scene. The time is late summer or early autumn. Many leaves on the trees are already of reddish-yellow colour. A threatening cloud covers the sky. You get an impression that the next moment it will start raining.

A.        Are there people in the picture?'

B.        Yes. The artist enlivens the landscape by two women driving geese along a little wooden bridge across a stream in the foreground...

A.        Oh, yes, I know! And a shepherd boy in the distance...

B.        That's right.

A.        And in the background you see two village houses with smoke coming out of a chimney.

B.        Yes.

A.        It's a picture by an outstanding Russian painter of the 19th century Vasilyev. The picture is called "Before the Rain".

B.        The landscape in the picture looks very romantic.

A.        Vasilyev was, very talented, and his work is distinguished by a romantic perception of life and nature.


Ex. 2 Look at the painting “Before the Rain” by F.A. Vasiliev and give a detailed description of it using the following words and word combinations given below


F.A. Vasiliev. “Before the Rain”

F.A. Vasiliev. “Before the Rain


late summer позднее лето

early autumn ранняя осень

leaves листья

reddish-yellow colour красновато-желтого цвета

a threatening cloud covers the sky грозная туча покрывает небо two women driving geese две женщины, погоняющие гусей

a little wooden bridge маленький деревянный мостик

across a stream через ручей

a shepherd boy мальчик-пастух

in the distance в отдалении

smoke coming out of a chimney дым, идущий из трубы

talented талантливый

his work is distinguished by a romantic perception of life and nature его творчество отличается романтическим восприятием жизни и природы

is painted with great talent написана с большим талантом


Ex. 3 Comment on the following statements:

Model: 1. The message is the motivating force of a work of art.

There could be no doubt about it. The subject-matter and the idea expressed therein is a most important quality in a work of art.

2.       In his works we find no slavish imitation of nature.

That means he is a true artist. The matter is that a true artist is seldom interested in the mere recording of appearances.

3.      He has the gift of posing his sitters and really possesses some of the attributes of a great painter.

That's true. But it would be better if he gave force to the figures by deepening the shadows.


1. Only skilled artists should draw from live models. 2. Reality in art arises from the awareness of the artist for life. 3. Art has an educative mission.



Text I

Art and Society

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.1 Mozart remained poor because even a most popular composer who insulted aristocratic patrons and scorned back-door politics2 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.

(S. Finkelstein, Art and Society)


1 a money-smug Dutch middle class — богатая и самодовольная голландская буржуазия

2 back-door politics — закулисная политика


Ex. 1 Put the questions to the text and speak on the common problems of most artists of the past and present


Ex. 2 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. Discuss this statement with your comrades. Use the following conversational formulas to express your opinion:

They say

I don't mind telling you


As far as I know

As to, as for

In fact

In this case

In any case

It depends

First of all


He стану скрывать


Насколько мне известно

Что касается

В действительности

В этом случае

В любом случае

Смотря как

Прежде всего


Ex. 3 Answer the following questions:

1. What does an artist convey through his art? 2. What are some of the qualities every artist must possess? What is a true artist interested in? 3. What is the chief value of art according to Mendes? How do you understand it? 4. How do you understand the statement "All great art conveys a message"? 5. What service do you think the painter performs for mankind? 6. Why was it that an artist was sometimes unappreciated in his own times yet highly praised by following generations?


Ex. 4 Read the following statement of Vincent Van Gogh and answer the questions: 1. What is the difference between painting the essence and painting the surface of a subject? 2. What makes a portrait great art? 3. May not an adequate likeness be a poor painting?

"...Not only does the drawing of figures and scenes from life demand a knowledge of the handicraft of drawing, but it demands also profound studies of literature.

I can't draw a figure without knowing all about the bones and muscles and tendons that are inside it. And I can't draw a head without knowing what goes on in that person's brain and soul. In order to paint life one must understand not only anatomy, but what people feel and think about the world they live in. The painter who knows his own craft and nothing else will turn out to be a very superficial artist."

(I. Stone, Lust for Life)


Ex.5 Where do you go to enjoy beauty? In Great Britain, in Russia, in France, in the USA?


Text II

The collection of Old Masters Paintings (38 paintings) offered to the nation by an English private collector, Sir George Beamount.

Today the picture galleries of the National Gallery of Art exhibit works of all the European schools of painting which existed between the 13th and 19th centuries. The most famous works among them are 'Venus and Cupid' by Diego Velazquez, 'Adoration of the Shepherds' by Nicolas Poussin, 'A Woman Bathing' by Harmensz van Rijn Rembrandt, 'Lord Heathfield' by Joshua Reynolds, 'Mrs Siddons' by Thomas Gainsborough and many others.

In 1897 the Tate Gallery was opened to house the more modern British paintings. Most of the National Gallery collection of British paintings were transferred to the Tate, and only a small collection of a few masterpieces is now exhibited at Trafalgar Square. Thus, the Tate Gallery exhibits a number of interesting collections of British and foreign modern painting and also modern sculpture.

The collection of Turner's paintings at the Tate includes about 300 oils and 19,000 water-colours and drawings. He was the most traditional artist of his time as well as the most original: traditional in his devotion to the Old Masters and original in his creation of new styles. It is sometimes said that he prepared the way for the Impressionists.

The modern collection includes the paintings of Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall and Salvador Dali, Francis Bacon and Graham Sutherland, Peter Blake and Richard Hamilton.

The National Gallery of Art in London

The National Gallery of Art in London

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