Art Kaleidoscope

Between art and craft

Slavic faceless folk doll magical power

A mother and a daughter, Russian handmade dolls. Slavic faceless folk doll magical power

A mother and a daughter, Russian handmade dolls. Slavic faceless folk doll magical power

Slavic faceless folk doll magical power

Why does the Slavic folk doll have no face? Indeed, the traditional rag doll is faceless. As a rule, not indicated, the face remained white. Meanwhile, a faceless doll, as an inanimate object was inaccessible to the evil, unkind forces to get into it, and therefore harmless to the child. In addition, it had to bring him well-being, health, and joy. It was a true miracle: from several rags, without additional details – hands and legs, without a designated face, the master managed to produce the character of the doll. The doll was emotional, it could laugh and cry.
In fact, in ancient times, the dolls had another purpose, it protected from disease, misfortune, and evil spirits. The doll took care of a man, and was called: guardian or bereguinya. As a rule, the most protective were dolls, made without needles and scissors. Also, creating a doll, a master avoided cutting the fabric, instead, he/she used to tear it. That’s why such doll sometimes was called “rvanka” (from the Russian word “rvat'” – to tear).
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Delicate Watercolor painting by Russian artist Anna

Delicate Watercolor painting by Russian artist Anna

Hunt for red maple. Delicate Watercolor painting by Russian artist Anna

Delicate Watercolor painting by Russian artist Anna
According to Moscow based artist Anna, she “from time to time” draws for the soul. Most of all she loves watercolor, for its arbitrariness, transparency and discipline, which this technique requires from the artist. By embodying a plan or simply impressed by chance, she tries to transfer emotions onto paper, and to paint them in colors. As the artist herself explains, “so that the moment that touched me remained with me even after a lapse of time”. Therefore, her drawings contain a lot of personal, and each of them is dear to her and valuable.
Some of her works decorate the walls in her house, while others just – kept in a folder. So, one day she decided to show some of kept in a folder drawings to the public. Actually, she hopes to sell these drawings to people, whom they will also bring joy. After all, having a work painted in real colors is a wonderful feeling!
In her pictures I saw the elusive grace of nature, that so often disappears and not seen. Thanks to the master who stopped the moment and with it stopped me, gave me the opportunity to see the beautiful in the simple. Her paintings is the art where the world of harmony reigns, where I and the world have merged into one.
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Hungarian folk art embroidery Matyo Roses

Hungarian folk art embroidery Matyo Roses. A couple in traditional embroidered costumes

A Hungarian couple in traditional embroidered costumes. Hungarian folk art embroidery Matyo Roses

Hungarian folk art embroidery Matyo Roses
First of all, any folk art closely connected with life, the nature and the history of each people. And the stunning national Hungarian embroidery is certain recognizability, brightness of colors and variety. Meanwhile, each region of Hungary embroiderers bring their own characteristics to it. There are two types of this embroidery – matyo and kalocsi. Matyo is characterized by a black background on which embroideresses embroider with bright silk threads bright floral patterns. The matyo embroidery is easy to recognize by a large rose located in the center of the picture, around which smaller embroidered motifs, each of which has its own significance. In addition, the colors of embroidery bear special significance. In particular, yellow means sun, black – the strength of the earth, blue – sadness, green – mourning. However, in Kalocsi embroidery – the predominance of natural motifs. Initially, the craftswomen used only white thread for this embroidery, but gradually they added other colors. By the way, now there are 27 colors. The basis is white flax. Besides, each color has its own meaning: red – youth, flowering, yellow – the sun, and a combination of blue and violet – mourning.
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Symbolic Death of Ophelia by Sir John Everett Millais

Symbolic Death of Ophelia by Sir John Everett Millais

Detail of painting by English Pre-Raphaelite artist. Symbolic Death of Ophelia by Sir John Everett Millais (8 June 1829 – 13 August 1896)

Symbolic Death of Ophelia by Sir John Everett Millais

Known as “Ophelia” or “Death of Ophelia” (1851-1852) – a picture of the English Pre-Raphaelite artist Sir John Everett Millais, completed by him in 1852. At the heart of the picture is the plot of Shakespeare’s play Hamlet. However, this painting, exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts in 1852, was far from immediately appreciated by contemporaries.
Beloved of Prince Hamlet, upon learning that he had killed her father Polonius, Ophelia became obsessed and committed suicide by drowning in the river. As the gravediggers say in the play, “her death is dark. If it were not for the order from the king, she would lie in the land of the uninitiated.”
The artist depicted Ophelia right after falling into the river, when her wreaths hang on the willow branches. She sings woeful songs, half submerged in water. Her pose – open arms, and her gaze directed to the sky – cause associations with the Crucifixion of Christ, and also often interpreted as erotic. The girl slowly sinks into the water against a bright, blooming nature. Her face has no panic or despair. Although death is inevitable, in the picture the time seems to be frozen. Millais managed to masterfully capture the moment that passes between life and death.
In fact, the plants and flowers in the river – the “whimsical garlands” that Ophelia had woven, also bear symbolic meaning.
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Painting by Chinese artist Xu Beihong 1895-1953

Portrait of Rabindranath Tagore. 1940. Colored ink, mineral paints. Painting by Chinese artist Xu Beihong 1895-1953

Portrait of Rabindranath Tagore. 1940. Colored ink, mineral paints. Painting by Chinese artist Xu Beihong (1895-1953)

Painting by Chinese artist Xu Beihong
The post features life and work of the remarkable Chinese artist of the twentieth century Xu Beihong (19 July 1895 – 26 September 1953). His works – portraits, landscapes and images of animals – are well known in the homeland of the artist and beyond. It is difficult to overestimate the importance of the personality of Xu Beihong in the artistic life of China. Unlike many of his predecessors and even his contemporaries, he influenced not only the development of any of the genres of painting, but also the fate of Chinese art in general. His rebellious seeking spirit, embodied in unique artistic images, still attracts us with his unbridled, overwhelming energy.
Unfortunately, Xu Beihong lived a short life (1895-1953). However, it was bright and eventful. Born in the era of turbulent political upheavals and explosions experienced by his homeland, he became not only a witness, but also an active participant in its revolutionary events and political transformations.
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Bulgarian artist Vladimir Dimitrov Maistor

Self-portrait. 1921. Bulgarian artist Vladimir Dimitrov Maistor (1 February 1882 – 29 September 1960)

Self-portrait. 1921. Bulgarian artist Vladimir Dimitrov Maistor (1 February 1882 – 29 September 1960)

Noteworthy, Bulgarian artist Vladimir Dimitrov Maistor (1 February 1882 – 29 September 1960) became famous both because of his paintings and because of his lifestyle. Thus, even after he became famous, having chosen to live in poverty and asceticism, he gave away all of his possessions and money to poor people. He, in particular, wore old clothes, gave up shaving and preferred only vegetarian food. In fact, many people thought him to be a saint and showed great affection for him even in his lifetime.
Born on February 1, 1882 in the village of Frolosh in the present Stankedimitrovsky district, just four years after the liberation of the Bulgarian people from the five-century Turkish yoke. Growing up in a poor peasant family, he learned early of poverty. One of his early works is a portrait of his father, created in 1907. All permeated with filial love, executed with picturesque ease, it gives an idea of ​​the impetuous nature and deep observation of a person close to nature. By nature, the spiritual world and temperament, Maistor has much in common with the father. Meanwhile, his father, an inquisitive and gifted man by nature, played several folk musical instruments. Subsequently, his son not only sang in the field with reapers, at weddings and other village festivities, but he himself liked to play the folk string instrument.
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Russian icon painter Simon Ushakov 1626-1686

Russian icon painter Simon Ushakov 1626-1686

Spas Emmanuil (Christ Emmanuel). 1668. The State Tretyakov Gallery. Work by Russian icon painter Simon Ushakov (1626-1686)

Russian icon painter Simon Ushakov
In the history of Old Russian fine arts this name stands alongside with the names of Andrei Rublev and Dionysius. According to GD Filimonov, the author of the first monographic essay on Simon Ushakov (1873), Ushakov was the first to look at icon painting as art. Ushakov was both an educator and, apparently, an able organizer, who for more than thirty years headed the artistic activity of all Russian state. Simon Ushakov demonstrated a new attitude to art and to the artist. It was a broader and freer nature of the world perception, conditioned by the general process of the development of Russian culture. Noteworthy, the biographical information about Simon Ushakov can be compiled from the well-known detailed information in the archives of the Armory Chamber. Thus, according the signatures on some icons, the autographs show that the real name of the artist was Pimen, and Simon is only a nickname. Besides, the inscription of one icon makes it possible to establish that Ushakov was born in 1626, and it is known that he died in 1686.
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