Cleopatra has inspired artists since the Renaissance. On the one hand, she was a great queen, whose attractiveness succumbed to Caesar and Anthony, the two most influential Roman military leaders. On the other hand, her tragic suicide, which deprived the winner of at least part of his triumph. However, ancient authors agree with the fact that Cleopatra was bitten by a snake in her hand. A bite in the chest is an invention of Shakespeare, which was later eagerly picked up by the visual arts.
Guido Reni: The Death of Cleopatra (1625-1630) painting by Guido Reni Maria Magdalene (1635)
Guido Reni shows Cleopatra in the pose of a repentant sinner. For comparison, on the right is his painting “Mary Magdalene” (1635). It depicts the same pose, and the same expression. The difference, besides the obligatory presence of the snake, is only in the lighting that promises to give divine grace to Mary Magdalene. In this case, the historical authenticity of two women, whose appearance and decoration corresponds to the XVII century, is absolutely not Continue reading
Vietnam University of Fine Arts (formerly Hanoi Higher School of Fine Arts) is an art school in Hanoi (Vietnam), which was created in 1925 under French rule. The university has trained many of Vietnam’s leading artists, and each year takes part in numerous cultural exchanges with sister foreign institutions.
The long and distinguished history of the University of Fine Arts of Hanoi can be traced back to the colonial École Supérieure des Beaux Arts de l’Indochine (1925-1945) (Indochina Higher School of Fine Arts), which educated subsequent generations of Vietnamese students – and a small number of students Continue reading
The leading role in Italian painting of the 13th century was played by the Byzantine tradition. Italy was a motley conglomerate of cultural centers. A special role among numerous local schools was played by Florence and, in general, the region of Tuscany – the cities of Pisa, Lucca, Siena. The first signs of the Renaissance according to Vasari appear at the end of the 13th century along with two great Florentines – Cimabue and Giotto, who discarded Byzantine techniques and returned to genuine ancient traditions. Giotto’s picturesque reform turned out to be a source of fruitful and creative search for artists of the 14th century. And while none of them succeeded in succeeding Giotto’s synthetic style, all the major artists of the leading centers – Siena Simone Martini, Pietro and Ambrogio Lorenzetti, and the North Italian artists Pietro da Rimini and Giovanni Milano – follow the outlined Giotto in their creative development. After the frescoes in the church of San Francesco located in Assisi, Cimabue becomes the largest Florentine painter of the 14th century. His influence on the development of Tuscan painting is becoming Continue reading