Thursday, March 04, 2010

Analect 2.670x

4 March 2010. Possible sun, moments of cloud.

The claims of the 19th century, as put forth by Serov and Repin--two Russian wanderers in the realm of paint. The bravura brushwork--Valentin Serov--flashy until the crunch, when a fine-tuned draftsman appears, setting all in order. A little too much so, perhaps--the knowingness of a hand inserted into a lapel, or the turn of a wrist on a woman lounged on a divan--a knowingness that knows we know as well--as if the full-embodiment of a culture could be indicated in these social minutiae. And yet, the sheer skill--and a willingness to take it all on--as in his portrait of Glinka, amply holed up in bedclothes, manuscript in hand... A Farewell to St. Petersburg, perhaps... Zhavronok, the Lark, "melodically gloomy to the point of melancholy..."

His portrait of Mamontov's daughter, Girl with Peaches...

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