The first decade of XVII century Rome attracted artists not only the opportunity to see firsthand the monuments of antiquity and join the manner of the great masters of the Renaissance. The eternal city became the center of development and the confrontation of two new artistic currents — academic and naturalism.
Like many of his compatriots, a young native of the French town of Coulommiers Valentin de Boulogne came to Rome perfected the art of painting. He was born on January 3, 1591. The son of a painter, a child owned a good brush. Exactly when Valentine was in Rome. unknown. Researchers call different dates -1611. 1613 or 1618 years. Last — most likely because that year his father died, and the young man had nothing kept at home. In the register of residents of Rome in 1622, he is listed as a goal, «Valentin de Boulogne, a French painter.
In Rome, close friendship bound him with Nicolas Poussin. But, in contrast to the latter. Valentin has not joined the Roman Academy of St. Luke. Considerably more interested in his quest naturalistic and chiaroscuro experiments of Michelangelo da Caravaggio. The young artist chose his mentor already famous at the time, karavadzhista compatriot Simon Vouet. Poussin is recommended buddy prominent Roman patron — Cardinal Barberini. There were orders. Valentin quickly became one of the leaders not only of the French colony of artists in Rome, but in general the French karavadzhistov, among them — Simon Vouet, Trofim Bigot, Jean Clair Ls. Nicolas Francois Regnault, Nikola Turns. Claude Vignon, Georges de LA Tour.
Only once Valentin stepped on an academic path — written in 1629 by order of Cardinal Barberini «Allegory of Italy.» This bright, compositional and coloristic painting rich, built according to the rules favorite academicians allegorical genre. A symbolic female figure personifying Italy, presented in a flowing scarlet cape and crown, reminiscent of the city wall with towers: with a spear (the sign of secular power and strength) and a shield with the keys of St. Peter (the sign of spiritual power). It stands on a pile of ears of corn and fruit, symbolizing the prosperity and well-being. Two courageous elder with pitchers, sitting at the feet se — is Italy’s largest river Tiber and Arno. They are easy to recognize: Two baby clung to the she-wolf near the left figure — is Rome, and a lion on the right — it is a symbol of the river Arno. Valentin even surpassed many of his contemporaries, creating a complex double allegory. The image of the Arno — an allusion to the Barberini family. comes from Florence.
Italians still believe the best Valentine follower of Caravaggio, and see it as a bright representative of the Roman school of painting. Indeed, how little has in common with the original creative Valentine development of French painting, as is strikingly close it karavadzhizma artistic principles. There before us is the visible reality of the XVII century. Valentine Heroes — commoners with their difficult life true. Even in his only work of allegorical content, he boldly painted -"Italy" not a perfect beauty, in the usual peasant girl with simple and coarse features lime, hands full, strong, stocky figure.
Valentin perfectly embodied the main invention of Caravaggio — his cut-off style of writing. Going outside the beam of light pierces the space of the picture, highlighting his most significant pieces. In contrast to this bright, «exposes» of light to total darkness based not only paintings art system, but most importantly — dramatic narrative. Valentin and color is based on the cut-off basis — the saturation of each individual color, its tonal expression depend on the degree of correlation with the «absolute» colors — white and black.
Karavadzhisty first brought to the genre painting theme "vanitas"Depicting players, drunks, prostitutes, cheaters, fortune tellers, and other rogue decent society. At first glance, the scene amusing entertainment, games, «burning life, if you think about it, turn a terrible picture of the fall and death of a person. The ominous mood helps create karavadzhistsky «Pogrebnoy» light.
In the painting «Schuler» undoubtedly created Valentin in imitation of «Rounders» Caravaggio, he buried his face unfair player in the shade, giving it an unhealthy, even a deathly shade, while on a bright face of an unsuspecting young officer, concentration reflects on the combination Karg yet it plays a fresh youthful glow. Figure accomplice Rounders, Conjugated behind the victim, actually denotes only throw up his right hand, supply a conditional signal — not only is it wrapped in a dark cloak, but all drowned in deep shadow.
"Schuler" — One of the first works of Valentine, which was particularly its color range, a kind of «calling card», borrowed from the great Italians: big juicy red spots on the background of a darkened palette.
Even if a picture similar subjects is nothing sinister, Valentin certainly gives it a hint of a natural end: so. in the «tavern» the company of two young men and their girlfriends questionable settled at the table, which, if you look closely, is nothing else than the foundation of the ancient Roman sarcophagus.
Such hidden reminders of the transience of earthly existence and the inevitability of death found in other works of Valentine. So. in «concert with the bas-relief» motley crew gathered for the same stone «table» with the effigy of the ancient hero. People drink wine, play a musical instrument (there are a whole orchestra — violin, guitar and lute), and looking at pictures in a book. In this scene immediately catches the eye and affects dissociation of characters: each of them as if deep in thought and did not pay attention to others, and operates more mechanically. The cold light of dusk grabs the detached faces, giving them even more strange; It stands out the woman’s face with his guitar as if ridden some terrible vision. Lute Player, seated on the right, a woman, a boy with open. as a surprise, his mouth seemed to see something happening outside the canvas, and from there, because of its limits on their face begins to crawl a black shadow.
The most complete expression of the theme "vanitas" found in the work of 1624 — 1625 years. «Four ages of man.» Boy with a trap for birds, romantic young man with a lute, mature male warrior in armor with a wreath on his head and an open book in his hands on fortification, old man with a glass of wine — it’s allegorical characters personifying the different periods of human life. Each of them is valuable, and together they create a kind of harmonious unity, underlined steadiness of plastics, the symmetry of the composition, and reigning in its atmosphere of philosophical contemplation.
Contemplative peculiar characters Valentines more than action. This is especially evident in the single-figure compositions depicting biblical and evangelical character, and musicians. «Lute Player» as if to pluck the strings and even opened his mouth. to sing, but his eyes spoke of a deep dive.
Valentin long before the psychological realism of the XIX century, was able with the help of visual aids to convey the drama of the inner state of his characters. «Peter’s denial,» the representing one of the most psychologically rich scenes of the Gospel. Here, too, the main characters internally torn apart, but emotionally, in their own way, are very expressive. No coincidence that the figure of the Apostle Peter, an uproar denies gesture with his hands. Valentin later reproduced literally in his «Last Supper.»
This thing at all is a kind of «quintessence» karavadzhizma. A young man sitting with his back to the viewer, wearing a red silk camisole and black velvet beret with a feather — a typical character painting by Caravaggio (Valentin we have already seen it in «Rounders»). As always in Caravaggio, a collimated light beam focuses expression limes and character gestures, emphasizes the quality of the material tangible everyday objects and costumes. The latter is often insignificant to the plot, but important for the figurative meaning and emotional damage paintings.
Valentine is considered one the most zealous adherents of naturalism. He not only thoroughly conveys the texture of materials and surfaces (morschaschie on his knees stockings «Lute-Player»), shows things ugly and unpleasant (which is an earthy color corpse baby in the «Judgment of Solomon» or blood oozing from pererublennoy neck Goliath «David from Head of Goliath, and two soldiers «), but also openly demonstrates the flaws of human bodies, unvarnished emotional display. The artist does not neglect the scenes of cruelty and violence, referring to biblical and evangelical subjects whose meaning — to justify the cruelty of actions and deeds of heroes.
Such «Judith cutting off the head of Holofernes.» Usually, artists depicted Judith young and beautiful girl, tramples the head of the Assyrian general. Judith Valentine ugly. Her strong muscular peasant hands, one of which she grabbed the man by the hair, and the other by the sword, like a big butcher knife, calmly slit his throat. A curious figure of the servant — an ugly old woman behind Judith. Almost completely immersed in darkness, it is like a shadow of Judith, her second, the true «I».
In «Judgment of Solomon,» the artist with amazing for their time and skill physiognomists psychologist not only shows the difference between the true and false motherhood, but above all, demonstrates the effectiveness of the hard, powerful solutions, exposes the truth and claiming justice.
On the canvas «Soldiers point guards in the bone tunic of Christ» presented an episode described in the Gospel of John: «Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part, and the tunic; the coat was without seam, woven from the top.
So they said to one another, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose will … «
Here, the dramatic tension of the composition, expressed jerky gestures, distorted faces, harsh glare of light on the black shadow background, is so great that it seemed to «explode» the bloodstain tunic in the lower right corner.
In this work, the «Italian» is not only the color. Although the multi-figure composition clenched n small space, the figure closely shifted and obstruct each other, it felt powerful spatial potential — it is like a coiled spring, ready to turn around and show a lot of options. This is one of the signs of the genuine monumentality, which was characteristic of the Renaissance masters.
Classical monumental composition is a big picture Valentine «Last Supper.» There Karavadzhizm and heritage of the Renaissance than anywhere else closely intertwined. The basis of the composition — an isosceles triangle formed by the figures of Christ, Judas, and James the less and punctuated by scarlet stains their clothes. The apostles apparently calm (even a young John went to sleep next to Christ, her head resting on his hands), but their posture so hard and people are concentrated so that there is no doubt about the deep inner shock of experiencing. The situation is difficult moral choice is accentuated by the fact that Jude does not particularly stand out among the other apostles, except for purse clutched in his hand. Usually, artists painted his face in the shadows; so did the Valentine, but he fell in the shadow of the linden several others, which implies that Judas had not yet rolled, and every one of the apostles anxiously asks: «Did I not. Lord? «, Referring not only to the teacher as to himself.
In general, the person leading the internal dialogue with himself. — Valentine’s favorite hero. Perhaps such hy the most consistent type of personality of the artist. Biography and personal life especially Valentina poorly understood. All known data about him are contradictory, and the image of the artist in a kind of strange halo of lost souls.
Biography of artist Giovanni Bali indicates that he lived mostly alone, renting an apartment in a house on Via Margapa and occasionally sharing shelter with someone from friends or colleagues; He was very religious, revered rhodium gels. Why he is not married. However, despite the rather secluded life, sometimes allowed himself sprees and other worldly pleasures. In 1624, he joined the «Company Dutch painters», which earned him the nickname «Amador» — «Love *. Contemporaries noted as its most notable features of the romantic sensitive soul and nobility.
We can assume that the central character in a series of works by Valentin — a young man with a beard, wearing a hat with a feather — the type of noble knight — it is his self-portrait. In «Fortune Teller» this man listens to the street «prophetess * with a look as if he is much better than her knows the future.
Gradually manner Valentine evolved towards more picturesque, gentleness; its color becomes lighter and not as a contrast in tone techniques used. In his last pre-signifi- cantly attribute the work — the film «The Company with the fortune-teller,» Valentin almost completely moved away from karavadzhistskogo «Pogrebnoy» lighting, retaining only the dark, but compared to the foreground, neutral background. This multifigured violent scene that takes place in a tavern, full of movement and diverse variety of emotional displays. It has everything — and the musicians, etc. divination scene but hand and fight, and the audience (man standing with his back to the viewer in the foreground, and a young man whose head is visible between the fortune teller and her client). Besides the size of the web and jerky movements fighting in the background of soldiers from the «great Italian manner,» there is nothing left. The composition has lost integrity Mr. freely divided into separate fragments. Even the girl, turning her back, Tintoretto -izlyublennaya figure here it is not composite «beacon», but easy staffazhnoy detail. It is evident that the artist was experimenting, searching for new ways.
It is not known how his work would be developed in the future, if the 40 year-old hot August night, he caught a cold death, swim after drinking binge in one of the Roman fountains.
Forlorn life absurd death, art, isolated from native roots …