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English Painting and Art Galleries

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


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


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


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


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


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.


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