Portrait of the 18th century.

Portrait of the 18th century.

If the XVII century was predominantly religious, the XVIII — mostly not religious.

Divine Providence takes place is now omniscient human mind. This was the era of the internal courage: if there is no God, but there is only empty sky, which can not be afraid, you lose the value of many of the moral criteria and restrictions. We live only once, after death we did not expect, so we will enjoy every moment, and «after us — the deluge.» It was a time, a premonition, to prepare the catastrophe of the French Revolution.

The main lifestyle for a man from the XVIII century, it becomes the responsibility not to the unfathomable mysteries of existence, but to the community before the court before «that will say Princess Mary Aleksevna», as later said Griboyedov in his immortal comedy «Woe from Wit».

In XVIII century painting occupies an important place portrait. It is the portrait we judge of this century, this portrait — the most remarkable phenomenon in the art of the XVIII century, when interest in the mythological and biblical events, and even subjects from the history of retreating to a keen interest in «human comedy», which is played out not in the past, Today, in front of everyone.

The heyday of portrait associated with the hot spots of the historical process of the XVIII century in France, which was carrying a revolution, and Russia, which in this century is included in the history of the world as a new and mysterious phenomenon, which in 1812 will break the back of Napoleonic France, and in 1814- m become the «gendarme of Europe». The window, cut through by Peter at the beginning of the century, there has been a dual vector not only Europe flooded into Russia, but Russia rushed to Europe.

If the portrait of the XVII century was the most informative part of the face with its pointed expressive facial expressions, the portraits of XVIII face it — the least informative, with him as if washed away all expression. Portraits are turning to the audience with the same secular half-smile, only shows a good tone, the ability to behave in society. The same smile froze on his face, and the king, and in the faces of ordinary mortals — all are equal before the law society to the laws of «light.» After persistent experimentation with facial expressions in portraits of the XVII century it became apparent that the man (and accordingly — portrait) can give a person any expression. Man, writes Diderot, like an actor, «can command his eyes, his forehead, his cheeks, his mouth, all the muscles of your face.» Portraitist should not rely on facial expressions, because it did not disclose the essence of the person, also an artist, and should not seek to reveal the true essence of the portrait as «genuine passion always have the grimaces that tasteless master slavishly copies and avoids a great artist.» Fictional feelings more captivating than the natural feelings.

XVIII century sensitize fast turnover time of human life, the artist still not keep up with her. Diderot wrote about one of his portraits: «During the day, my face took dozens of different expressions, depending on what action is exerted on me. I have been peaceful, sad, thoughtful, gentle, rough, furious, but he was never the way you see me here (in the portrait). Look my introduces fraud artist. «

Portrait of the XVII century is itself a spectator in all its grandeur, or causing self-assertion, in his gladness or sadness, despair or loneliness. In the portrait of the XVII century is a moment of confessional: this is I am. In the portrait of the XVIII century man is not, but the game itself, as well as he plays himself in life creates its own form, delivers itself to the world not for what it is «by nature», but the way he wants to be seen around, for what it is «simulated appearance.» And in life, and in the portrait of a man stands in front of the audience, the audience. In this sense, we can say that the portrait of the XVIII century — the game portrait. The person in this portrait of the least informative. Uninformative and hands. The artist or the cost entirely without arms or picture made, ballet gesture. It is no accident in the portraits hands often wrote with replacement models. These «spare» hand is impossible to imagine any one of Rembrandt’s portraits, in which the hands are as expressive as the face: the silent, thoughtful, loving, tragically lonely …

The most informative part of the portrait of the XVIII century can be regarded as a suit. The costume can be seen from afar; the person should be looking at closely, studying — suit can grab the eye at once; suit defines the role of the individual in society. In pay as you know, meet … «The beautiful new dress almost equivalent handsome face,» — says the heroine of the novel, the famous French writer of XVIII century Marivaux. At the beginning of the century French theorist Roger de Peel, in his «Course of the basics of painting» formulated the requirements that must be presented to the portrait. The treatise was a huge success and was translated into many languages ​​- including Russian. The Russian translation of the text sounds especially impressively: «Should that. Portraits seemed as if talking about themselves, as if to notify: look at me, I am the aforesaid undefeated king, surrounded by the majesty … I’m the brave captain, who does everywhere awe … I’m the great minister who vyznat all political spring … I’m the wise and quiet man, whose commitment to the surface of wisdom gained over the desires and ambitions … I’m the fun-nravnaya who loves laughter and fun » .

Expressive illustration of these requirements can serve as portraits by Levitsky — the most European of Russian artists of this century. In the XVIII century portrait painting facial expression clothing was replaced facial expressions. «Robes of public figures are always made wide, it attaches importance to their appearance, it achieved a huge amount of matter consumed. Wide, massive wig reminiscent of a lion’s mane, contains something noble and gives expression dignity. » In other words — the expression is created using wigs, replaces face. Men suit must be of a man, like a business card. In the women — clothes used, in addition, for the purpose of coquetry, she had to «excite our expectations and did not meet them too. Therefore, the body, arms and legs should be covered, and only here and there should be hints flooded the clothes … «. Formulates objectives portraiture famous English artist Hogarth. But the sight of women. The Marivaux’s novel, written in the form of literary self-portrait of the heroine, the story is tied around her dresses, her face barely mentioned — it’s hard to grasp what it is. The decisive role played by suit: casual or elegant, rich or modest, laced corset laces or loose, crumpled or ironed cap, barefoot or shod foot. The heroine is played by all these items toilet: «From time to time … I regaled the audience showing little of its charm … For example, I played a bonnet; He walked me wonderfully, but I pretended that he was sitting crooked, and adjusting your fingers frills, at the same time showed a naked knob, opens then at least to the elbow. «

Game theatrical beginning permeates human behavior world-XVIII century. All the portraits of that time, in fact, the costume or frankly costume: the hero speaks not just of itself, but as of a character whose role it performs in real life and in the portrait: a warrior or a legislator, a sage, or the artist, Mars and Flora Cupid and Psyche. This modern dress easily goes into a theatrical costume or fancy. These portraits of theatrical masks equipped with appropriate attributes, portraits, in the role — the main theme of portraiture century, its main nerve.

Theatre life — one of the key concepts, the original formula of the XVIII century. Not only in the figurative, but in the truest sense of the word theater played an important role in the culture of XVIII century — both entertaining and instructive, rather, learning. Widespread theaters — and professional and amateur, courtiers, home (not to mention the serf theater of Russia), as well as theaters in the schools, such as at the Smolny Institute in St. Petersburg, established for the education of young girls of noble families, training their role for the ladies. They were taught not only the dance, not only the ability to maintain posture and their ability to teach behave according to the role they have to play in society, taught proper behavior in the theater of life. In Russia, the theatricality of everyday life of certain sections of society felt particularly strongly and at times took bizarre forms. From the time of Peter I came the era of universal (originally violent) disguises. The king himself began by dressing in costume carpenter. Catherine II was a «great actress on the throne.» Written formal portrait Levitsky «Catherine-lawgiver» — the most striking example of theatrical portraits, in which the model plays itself in the desired, largely imaginary situation. Allegorical portrait program was formulated by the artist himself: «The middle of the picture is the inside of the temple of justice, before which a lawgiver, Her Imperial Majesty, burning on the altar of poppy flowers, donates his precious peace for total peace of mind. Instead of an ordinary imperial crown surmounted by a crown of laurel she adorning civic crown bestowed on her head … the Victorious eagle rests on laws and armed Perun guard growls about the integrity of these. In the distance you can see the open sea, and a fluttering Russian flag shown on a military shield Mercury’s rod is a protected trade. «

Levitsky presented the grand image of Catherine, the one which it was addressed to the world, to history. Another home, the face of this «great actress» look, in its own way no less theatrical, presented another big master of portraiture — Borovikovsky. Catherine on this portrait displayed in the home clothes, came out for a walk in the park. The Empress, who plays in the simplicity and naturalness.

Were portraits of the XVIII century like? Of course, they are similar to those portrayed, rather, those who represented their models. For as claimed Diderot, «one man by nature, the other on the simulated appearance of them.» Portrait of the XVIII century is similar to a large extent on the «simulated appearance» and a fascinating challenge for the viewer to guess in the form of images — image of genuine. However, this problem is more interesting for us, descendants; for the viewer a contemporary fictional characters and fictional feelings presented «a captivating» than the original.

Of course, the art of the XVIII century knew other portraits, depicting the common man in a simple home, a man without a wig — but ultimately similar antikostyum antiparik and create the same costume, only in a different role. The well-known self-portrait of Chardin, whose wig on his head instead of something like a nightcap and a visor to protect against too tired glare eye is often cited as an example of the utmost simplicity and truth of the image. But it is no less suits than any costume portrait of his time. It’s just a bold suit «person, whose commitment to the surface of wisdom gained over the … ambition.»

No less game and children’s portraits were Chardin. Some of them played in the simplicity and humility, the other — in an allegorical play «Boy, building a house of cards,» «Boy, blow bubbles» — an allegory on the theme of transience, instability of life. Even more frankly game Portrait of a boy, let the top, which are the words: «Give,» «Take», «all», «Nothing.» Fortune game, the game of love and chance — favorite themes of the XVIII century.

XVIII century was the century portrait, century, when from all genres of painting is a portrait of the most complete and most adequately expressed its time. But the paradox was that the very portrait of the XVIII century was not great. Maybe because it was faded out of the human person in its correlation with the universe.

In the Renaissance, people felt living under the empty, close the air, but he considered himself the center of the world, he claimed it to the place of the Creator. In the XVII century over the man’s head split open «heavenly abyss», he identifies himself with this abyss of space, cosmic space, contrasting his inner space of his lonely soul. In a rational world of the XVIII century man felt lonely, he lived in a society where everyone tried to politely, but not always sincere, smile at each other, he was not thinking about space, but about his relationship with other people.

XVIII centuries ended in 1789, the year of the French Revolution. However, as in the whole culture of this century, the revolution was strong theatrical moment. It was an ambitious, bloody tragedy, which the audience were all European countries, observing its development — some with enthusiasm, others with horror. The revolution that changed the course of European history, echoed in Russia. Portraitist revolutionary years in France was Louis David — the most important and in some ways unique. He wrote to the heroes of the revolution, its leaders who, one by one, leaving, or rather, were dropped from the stage scaffolding Stories. The most famous portrait of his revolutionary years, depicting the murdered Marat, is a magnificent setting on the topic of «the death of the hero» — one of those revolutionary action, many of whom wrote and carried out the same David in the streets and squares of the revolutionary Paris. Like all portraits of the XVIII century, this portrait of the game, although the artist -mertv. As well as all the portraits of the XVIII century, it is designed for viewers, their reactions: the widest audience — the whole of Paris — and the reaction of most immediate -prizyv to action.

Gaming is a portrait and immediately after the revolution, the only change its role: to replace the leaders of the Convention comes a new hero — General Bonaparte. Initially, the image is covered revolutionary romanticism, as in the famous portrait «Bonaparte on Arcole bridge» Gro brush, then almost heraldic equestrian portrait «Bonaparte San Bernarskom pass» David brush. Both represent the future emperor as commander drags soldiers: «Follow me! Forward! «These portraits are also staged, as well as all of the XVIII century portrait painting, which, despite the contradictions of historical destiny, Radischev justly called the» unforgettable «.

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