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Leonardo da Vinci. Volume 1

Eugene Muntz

Leonardo’s early life was spent in Florence, his maturity in Milan, and the last three years of his life in France. Leonardo’s teacher was Verrocchio. First he was a goldsmith, then a painter and sculptor: as a painter, representative of the very scientific school of draughtsmanship; more famous as a sculptor, being the creator of the Colleoni statue at Venice, Leonardo was a man of striking physical attractiveness, great charm of manner and conversation, and mental accomplishment. He was well grounded in the sciences and mathematics of the day, as well as a gifted musician. His skill in draughtsmanship was extraordinary; shown by his numerous drawings as well as by his comparatively few paintings. His skill of hand is at the service of most minute observation and analytical research into the character and structure of form. Leonardo is the first in date of the great men who had the desire to create in a picture a kind of mystic unity brought about by the fusion of matter and spirit. Now that the Primitives had concluded their experiments, ceaselessly pursued during two centuries, by the conquest of the methods of painting, he was able to pronounce the words which served as a password to all later artists worthy of the name: painting is a spiritual thing, cosa mentale. He completed Florentine draughtsmanship in applying to modelling by light and shade, a sharp subtlety which his predecessors had used only to give greater precision to their contours. This marvellous draughtsmanship, this modelling and chiaroscuro he used not solely to paint the exterior appearance of the body but, as no one before him had done, to cast over it a reflection of the mystery of the inner life. In the Mona Lisa and his other masterpieces he even used landscape not merely as a more or less picturesque decoration, but as a sort of echo of that interior life and an element of a perfect harmony. Relying on the still quite novel laws of perspective this doctor of scholastic wisdom, who was at the same time an initiator of modern thought, substituted for the discursive manner of the Primitives the principle of concentration which is the basis of classical art. The picture is no longer presented to us as an almost fortuitous aggregate of details and episodes. It is an organism in which all the elements, lines and colours, shadows and lights, compose a subtle tracery converging on a spiritual, a sensuous centre. It was not with the external significance of objects, but with their inward and spiritual significance, that Leonardo was occupied.

История завоевания Константинополя

Жоффруа де Виллардуэн

Жоффруа де Виллардуэн – крупный французский феодал, военачальник, один из руководителей Четвертого крестового похода. Он составил свой отчет очевидца о Четвертом походе и захвате Константинополя. Эта первая попытка прозаического сочинения на французском языке послужила образцовым началом длинного ряда выдающихся французских хроник и историй. Историю Виллардуэна нередко называли «героической поэмой в прозе».

Landscapes

Emile Michel

Although considered a minor genre for a long time, the art of landscape has risen above its forebears – religious and historic painting – to become a genre of its own. Giorgione in Italy, the Brueghels of the Flemish School, Claude Lorrain and Poussain of the French School, the Dutch landscape painters and Turner and Constable of England are just a few of the great landscapists who have left their indelible mark on the history of landscape and the art of painting as a whole. After serving for a long time as a backdrop for paintings and as a skill-practising exercise for artists, nature came to be observed for its own sake and was incorporated into works of art as an illustration of an enlightened and scientific study of the world. Through continual change, it has inspired the greatest painters and has allowed some others, like Turner, to transcend the relentless search for mere realism in pictorial representation. Through this study, Émile Michel offers an exceptional panorama, from the 15th century to the present, of art and the way artists portray the world in all its splendour.

Jasper Johns

Catherine Craft

At a time when the dominant mode of painting, Abstract Expressionism, emphasised expressive drama through bold brushwork and largely abstract compositions, Johns’ paintings of the American flag, targets, numbers and the alphabet demonstrated a decided departure from convention. Despite being painted with obvious care, they seemed emotionally reticent, cool and quiet, far from the emotional fireworks then fashionable. “It all began… with my painting a picture of an American flag. Using this design took care of a great deal for me because I didn’t have to design it. So I went on to similar things like the targets – things the mind already knows. That gave me room to work on other levels. For instance, I’ve always thought of painting as a surface; painting it in one color made this very clear. Then I decided that looking at a painting should not require a special kind of focus like going to church. A picture ought to be looked at the same way you look at a radiator.” Unlike most artists’ statements in New York during the 1950s, Johns’ remarks contained none of the familiar talk of doubt and angst, and his selection of subject matter appeared deliberate, thoughtful, and far removed from emotional attachments and desires. To younger artists, his art seemed not so much cold and unfeeling as clear-eyed and honest after the excesses of Abstract Expressionism. Furthermore, in selecting recognisable subjects, Johns seemed to reject prevailing abstract modes of painting, yet his subjects themselves – flags, targets, numbers – each possessed a vital characteristic of classic abstraction, namely, a flatness rendering them all but indistinguishable from the picture plane itself. This book underlines how Johns’s work made the polarity between abstraction and representation that had dominated debates about modern art for decades seem suddenly obsolete, opening up other ways of thinking about art’s relation to the world. It also tries to understand why, since his first exhibition at the Leo Castelli Gallery at the age of twenty-seven, he has remained one of the major artists of the contemporary artistic scene.

Серебряная пуля

Виталий Гладкий

«Кирпич ни с того ни с сего никому и никогда на голову не свалится» – так сказал известный персонаж из романа М. Булгакова «Мастер и Маргарита». К сожалению, герой романа «Серебряная пуля» Алексей Богданов или не читал великое произведение, или не придал значения глубокой мысли, заложенной в вышеуказанном изречении. Правда, ему на голову упал не кирпич, а застреленная из снайперской винтовки ворона… Тем не менее густо замешанные на мистике события, которые последовали за этим происшествием, переиначили судьбу парня, заставив балансировать на грани жизни и смерти.

Homosexuality in Art

James Smalls

This book is not a panegyric of homosexuality. It is a scientific study led by Professor James Smalls who teaches art history in the prestigious University of Maryland, Baltimore. Abandoning all classical clichés and sociological approaches, the author highlights the sensibility particular to homosexuals. This book examines the process of creation and allows one to comprehend the contribution of homosexuality to the evolution of emotional perception. In a time when all barriers have been overcome, this analysis offers a new understanding of our civilisation’s masterpieces.

100 рецептов блюд, богатых витамином В. Вкусно, полезно, душевно, целебно

Ирина Вечерская

При недостатке витаминов группы В появляются анемия, слабость, нарушение зрения, повышенная утомляемость, уменьшение аппетита, зуд и жжение кожи, отеки, тяжесть в ногах… Вы нашли у себя эти симптомы? Не спешите принимать аптечные витамины! Лучше всего усваиваются те, которые мы получаем из натуральных продуктов. Где содержится больше всего витамина В? И как правильно съесть продукты, чтобы этот витамин усваивался? Ответам на эти вопросы и посвящена наша книга. А чтобы читателям было легче, дан не только список продуктов, но и рецепты готовых блюд.

Art of Islam

Gaston Migeon

Islamic art is not the art of a nation or of a people, but that of a religion: Islam. Spreading from the Arabian Peninsula, the proselyte believers conquered, in a few centuries, a territory spreading from the Atlantic to the Indian Ocean. Multicultural and multi-ethnical, this polymorphic and highly spiritual art, in which all representation of Man and God were prohibited, developed canons and various motives of great decorative value. Thorough and inventive, these artists expressed their beliefs by creating monumental masterpieces such as the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, the Taj Mahal in Agra and the Alhambra in Granada, architectural works in which one recognises the stylisation of motives of the Muslim ceramics. Lively and coloured, Islamic art mirrors the richness of these people whose common denominator was the belief in one singular truth: the absolute necessity of creating works whose beauty equaled their respect for God.

Art of India

Vincent Arthur Smith

India, with its extensive and colourful history, has produced an artistic tradition in many forms: architecture, painting, sculpture, calligraphy, mosaics, and artisan products all display the country’s cultural, religious and philosophical richness. From Hinduism, with its pantheon of imagery of gods, goddesses, animals and many other figures, to Islam, with its astounding architecture and intricate calligraphy, the many facets of India have given rise to a fascinating and beautiful collection of artworks. Featuring incredible images and a text written by a renowned scholar on the subject, this work offers an in-depth look at the masterpieces of India, showcasing this fascinating country and her artists and covering a wide range of styles and techniques.

Наш райский сад

Хелен Бьянчин

Алеша Карсули пережила нелегкий брак, но сейчас она наконец-то свободна и мечтает только об одном: посвятить себя работе в семейной корпорации и добиться успехов. И больше никаких мужей! Вот только в завещании отца обнаружился один пункт, нарушающий все ее планы…