Paintings

Description of the painting by Ilya Glazunov “One Hundred Centuries”


Ilya Glazunov is a contemporary Russian artist, public figure. The difficult fate of the artist (his parents and all close relatives died in Leningrad during the blockade, when the boy was only 11 years old) had a great influence on his entire work. Glazunov was inspired by strong emotions, passions according to Dostoevsky, almost every of his paintings is saturated with sadness and tragedy. In Soviet times, the artist's work was often criticized. The exhibition on which the painting of the Road of War (with the image of the retreating Red Army) was exhibited was closed, and the painting itself was destroyed. The first works of the author are made in a classical, academic manner. Glazunov was often ordered portraits by famous cultural and political figures of our time. But the main theme of the artist’s work is Russia and its history. Trying to find his own, special style, close to traditional Russian art, on many historical genre paintings, Glazunov combined painting with tempera paints and inlaid pieces of colored glass, collages made of brocade, velvet and metal.

The painting of One Hundred Centuries (another name is Eternal Russia) is perhaps the most famous and most ambitious work of the artist. The size of the canvas is 3 by 6 meters, and it can be called a kind of history textbook. One canvas depicts the entire existence of Russia for a thousand years, all the significant historical and political figures of the state during this time. Each portrait is instantly recognizable, deeply historical and carefully painted. The first thing that catches your eye is the originality of the composition. The picture is similar to a symphonic work, where each written image is important and compiled into a single work. In the upper left corner of the picture is Mount Haraiti, according to legend, a sacred place for the ancestors of the ancient Slavs. A little to the right is a group of Orthodox churches assembled from different ends of immense Russia. Black clouds gather over the golden domes, recalling difficult times in the history of Russia. In the center of the left part of the picture is Andrew the First-Called and Princess Olga. The difficult and tragic moment of the Mongol yoke is reflected in the lower left corner - the Slavic warriors are defeated, the Horde khan feasts on their bodies. The naked maid, put up for sale on the slave market, is, according to the artist’s plan, a symbol of the tragedy that befell the country.

The central part of the canvas reflects the events in Russia before the 1917 revolution. In the foreground is F. M. Dostoevsky, the artist’s favorite writer. It was Dostoevsky that Glazunov considered the main national treasure, and his works - most accurately conveying the Russian national spirit. Directly in front of Dostoevsky is Tsarevich Alexei, heir to the throne, who died at the hands of the Bolsheviks. In the very center of the picture, at the foot of the cross with the crucified Christ, is the founder of the royal Romanov dynasty Mikhail, next to him is Ivan Susanin. The right side of the canvas is given mainly to cultural figures. The portrait of Leo Tolstoy stands out on the tablet that he holds, the main motto of the writer is Non-Resistance. In the upper right corner are figures referring the viewer to the time of the October Revolution; the red glow, the crimson figure of Lenin, the Bolshevik slogans. Stalin sits lower in the apocalyptic three. The horses' hooves are about to trample a bent woman in a sheepskin coat, hugging a baby.

The style of the painting resembles Old Russian icons - the genre of painting, deeply loved and appreciated by Glazunov. Dedicated to the millennium of the baptism of Russia, it became the most amazing project in the history of Russia. The historical characters depicted by the creator are presented in the form of an endless religious procession, a large-scale religious procession, overshadowed by church banners and icons of the Mother of God with Christ. The picture spread around the world in hundreds of thousands of reproductions, and at first, long lines of admirers of the author lined up at the exhibitions where it was exhibited.





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Watch the video: Michael Parloff: Musical Histories of London, Paris, u0026 Saint Petersburg, Part 2; [email protected] (December 2021).