tell me please...

...do you like not just to admire the beauty of a painting or statue, but also to understand its meaning?

...do you like the feeling that you and the artist speak the same language that is unclear to others?

...do you like to read allegories and notice hidden symbols?

Before you answer, let me give an example of “allegories and hidden symbols”.
Be beware: they might surprise and even shock you!

Here is Moses, a statue by Michelangelo.

Note that he has small horns on his head. I wonder where these strange accessories came from?

Speaking of strange accessories: take a look at the portrait of Queen Elizabeth I of England. Do you know what kind of round object she’s holding?

Speaking of strange accessories: take a look at the portrait of Queen Elizabeth I of England. Do you know what kind of round object she’s holding?

A sieve! And why would the queen need such a domestic tool? There is an explanation for this. A two-part explanation, in fact: one has to do with the biography of the queen herself, the second – with an episode from the history of ancient Rome … Curious yet?

Or here’s another thing: often the paintings tell about the everyday life of people of the past.  But those tales might be incomprehensible to us, because life has changed a lot since then. Here, for example, is a fragment of Bosch’s triptych “Haywain”. Doesn’t look disturbing, is it? Two ladies are talking, one of them has a baby in her arms.

But to a contemporary it would immediately become clear that these ladies are involved in illegal and deeply immoral business. And it would be precisely the baby and the strange white hat of one of the women that would lead him to this idea… Any guesses?

Finally, the last example

But I wonder if I am the only one who sees here allusions to several stories from the depths of time?

As it turned out, no. Recently, I discussed this picture with my subscribers, and we found so many layers in it! Theories were put forward.

 

Theory one: three graces. The image of three beautiful sisters embracing, dancing in a round dance appeared in antiquity, and then it was used by Botticelli, Raphael, and Canova.

 

Theory two: Faith, Hope and Love. See how gracefully it plays out: Faith raises her eyes to the sky, folding her hands on her chest in an almost prayerful gesture. Hope in the middle looks forward bravely and openly. And Love has lowered its eyes to the ground, because true love should be modest and bashful.

 

Or else: an allegory of time, like Titian’s famous allegory. The Future looks up, the Present looks forward, and the irrevocably departed Past looks down…

(I know, you probably want me to get to the point already; and I will do so in a second, I promise! But this next painting… I just love it so much and simply can’t help myself). This painting by an Englishman with Italian roots, Charles Edward Perugini, is called “Summer Rain”: a sudden downpour forced three young ladies friends to stop playing badminton and hide under a tree. Charming.

But I wonder if I am the only one who sees here allusions to several stories from the depths of time?

As it turned out, no. Recently, I discussed this picture with my subscribers, and we found so many layers in it! Theories were put forward.

Theory one: three graces. The image of three beautiful sisters embracing, dancing in a round dance appeared in antiquity, and then it was used by Botticelli, Raphael, and Canova.

Theory two: Faith, Hope and Love. See how gracefully it plays out: Faith raises her eyes to the sky, folding her hands on her chest in an almost prayerful gesture. Hope in the middle looks forward bravely and openly.

And Love has lowered its eyes to the ground, because true love should be modest and bashful.

Or else: an allegory of time, like Titian’s famous allegory. The Future looks up, the Present looks forward, and the irrevocably departed Past looks down…

Finally, the last example

(I know, you probably want me to get to the point already; and I will do so in a second, I promise! But this next painting… I just love it so much and simply can’t help myself). This painting by an Englishman with Italian roots, Charles Edward Perugini, is called “Summer Rain”: a sudden downpour forced three young ladies friends to stop playing badminton and hide under a tree. Charming.

But I wonder if I am the only one who sees here allusions to several stories from the depths of time?

As it turned out, no. Recently, I discussed this picture with my subscribers, and we found so many layers in it! Theories were put forward.

 

Theory one: three graces. The image of three beautiful sisters embracing, dancing in a round dance appeared in antiquity, and then it was used by Botticelli, Raphael, and Canova.

 

Theory two: Faith, Hope and Love. See how gracefully it plays out: Faith raises her eyes to the sky, folding her hands on her chest in an almost prayerful gesture. Hope in the middle looks forward bravely and openly. And Love has lowered its eyes to the ground, because true love should be modest and bashful.

 

Or else: an allegory of time, like Titian’s famous allegory. The Future looks up, the Present looks forward, and the irrevocably departed Past looks down…

Tell me, do you like to find such unexpected parallels?

To see connections between epochs and images that are not visible to others?

If your answer is yes, then I have something for you.

My name is Alexey Pashkov. I am a historian, art critic, and the creator of one of the best (to my humble taste) communities of art enthusiast on the Internet.

Oh, and by the way, I’m also Russian. Hope that won’t scare you away))

I also record lectures on art history.

In these lectures you WILL NOT FIND:

  • General, pointless and almost sedative passages that some lectures on art love so much: “Look at the gracefully flowing folds of the toga, gently wrapping around the slender figure of Aphrodite…”
  • Unverified or simply false facts, such as the legend of the sixth finger of Pope Sixtus II in a painting by Raphael (I already wrote like a hundred times in my blog: there is no sixth finger! It’s just optical trick!)
  • Esoteric speculations, conspiracy theories, aliens, reptilians, and other things of such nature. I have a distaste for them.

But in these lectures you WILL FIND:

  • Strictly scientifical theories, presented in a clear and comprehensible manner.
  • Emphasis on details, symbols, and allegories. Interpreting the meaning of paintings, revealing their hidden meanings is what I – and my listeners – enjoy the most.
  • I also like to expand the boundaries of the topic and look for links between art and literature, politics and philosophy. For example, in the course on Middle Ages I briefly research the famous “Consolation with Philosophy” by Boethius as a way to better understand medieval manner of thinking.

Now, to give some ground to my claims, here are some excerpts from my lectures.

In this video, I reveal-finally! – the secret of the mysterious sieve is in the hands of Queen Elizabeth.

And the second video is all about illegal and deeply immoral business, conducted by two seemingly innocent ladies from Bosch’s painting;

These two videos are from two different courses: on the Renaissance and on the Middle Ages.

 

Later, if you want, you can join them. But since we are barely acquainted, and I do not yet know your art preferences, I have a special offer for you:

The «First acquaintance» package.

It contains several series of lectures on various topics. The idea is that everyone will find something interesting there:

These lectures are not only interesting and informative, but also useful!

First, they will provide you with topics for interesting conversations for the weeks ahead. If you notice that it’s been a long time since you and your partner have had a heated discussion, this package will fix it. I promise that every evening you will brag about new discoveries.

Secondly, you will become the best guide for your husband, or for your child, or for your friends. Wherever you decide to spend your dream vacation – in Rome or Paris, in Cologne or Vienna – you will always be able to tell something interesting. True, you will probably have to work for free, but it will be nice to catch admiring glances of people around you.

Right now you can buy this package for 9.99$. After payment, an email with link will be sent to your email address.

THIS IS A ONE – TIME OFFER, IN HONOR OF OUR FIRST ACQUAINTANCE. IF YOU CLOSE THE SITE NOW, YOU WILL NEVER SEE MY ADS AGAIN.

The choice is yours 🙂