10 riddles of the “Mona Lisa” by the great Leonardo, which scientists are still struggling with today
There is an opinion that "a picture is better than a thousand words." But Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa has forced historians, art historians, and ordinary people to talk about…

Continue reading →

Fairytale illustrations by Eleanor Fortescue Brickdale - the best British Victorian watercolourist
The Victorian era gave the world fantastic stories about elves and fairies, the movement of the Pre-Raphaelites, a return to medieval images and ideals. The last representative of this Victorian…

Continue reading →

People-birds, beautiful ladies and the joy of life: 6 forgotten artists who will change the idea of Soviet painting
They worked in the harsh conditions of socialist realism, but paintings with farmers and tractors are not their style. Their paintings were crushed by bulldozers, not allowed to go to…

Continue reading →

The naked Christ, a corpse on his hands, strange perspectives for a little daughter. What shocked famous artists

We are used to perceive famous artists through brief explanations of their paintings. This makes their images almost ethereal. As if there was nothing but painting in their life, and as if their painting immediately became a sacred classic. But the artists were full-blooded people. Their work was sometimes puzzling, and their actions – condemnation.

Zinaida Serebryakova

The daughter, granddaughter, niece of some artists, mother, aunt and grandmother of others, she herself seems to be the embodiment of purity and love of art. So, in general, it is. Serebryakova was not prone to drunken revelry and all those sins in which it is usually customary to reproach Bohemia.

Nevertheless, there were strange things in her life. For example, she shocked many by marrying her own cousin. Many of Serebryakova’s paintings and drawings are in plain sight, but some are published very rarely and shock the viewer: they depict the naked daughter of Zinaida Katya in poses and camera angles that seem tenuous to a girl of about ten. Critics of the early twentieth century, however, argued that Serebryakova’s children’s nudes were surprisingly innocent, so the whole point could be a change in social norms.

One of the portraits of his daughter made by Serebryakova.

In addition, when Zinaida moved to her ancestral homeland, France, of the four children she took with her only two, her son Sasha and daughter Katya. The son Zhenya and daughter Tanya who remained in the USSR were offended by their mother for a long time. Tanya again saw her mother only in 1960, as an adult woman.

Tamara de Lempicka, another artist who was much more shocking in her lifestyle, was also blamed for the lack of maternal feelings and dubious perspectives when portraying her daughter. She left her daughter to her grandmother, and the poses and looks on the portraits of the girl seemed to do the same as on the portraits of her lovers.

Portrait of Tamara Lempitskaya’s daughter.
The most popular images from Dürer for the average Russian citizen are his self-portraits, in which he looks like a very sophisticated and spiritualized man, and the drawing “Hands of a Prayer”. In general, Dürer created many engravings on religious topics.

One of the self-portraits, by the way, looks exactly like a picture on a religious theme, namely, the image of Christ. At that time, men were rarely painted strictly in the face, and even if a man has a beard, hairstyle and overall appearance similar to the way they depicted the Son of God, this was considered unacceptable. As if emphasizing the iconic nature of the portrait, Dürer signs it in gold letters on a dark background – and no, this was not accepted. So this particular self-portrait is still hooliganism.

The iconic self-portrait at the time of Dürer looked defiant.
When you see an artist with such a pious appearance, and even emphasizing his piety and religiosity, you are waiting for a trick. But Dürer as a whole was a really good person, prone to melancholy. When his elderly mother was widowed, he did not hesitate to take her to his house. He also professed an unpopular idea at that time that one should not learn art through tears, but through joy, interest.

There is also a lesser-known self-portrait depicting Dürer as Christ. He again excessively dared – not only was the artist on him in a pose in which they usually depicted Jesus in paintings dedicated to the passions of Christ, even with a fold of skin imitating a wound, he was also completely naked. Given the chosen image, this is very ugly.

The upper part of the self-portrait of Dürer in the pose of the suffering Christ. The bottom is just as bare and as detailed.

For many years, this famous Italian artist has been accused of the fact that he almost did not portray women, and many teenage boys in his paintings look like castrates (there were many castrates in Italy from the time of Caravaggio). If, they say, you are fond of young castrats, there is nothing to stick out – in approximately this vein, the artist’s artistic and not only inclinations are discussed.

During his life, Caravaggio made a repulsive impression on many. While fabrics and paints play in his paintings, fruits and wine caress his eyes, in life he was extremely untidy. Caravaggio dressed badly, had bad manners, drank a lot and sometimes rowdy. However, nothing new.

Excited by the abundance of boys in the paintings of Caravaggio, people say that in the picture, under the guise of suicide from a bite, the expression on the young man’s face is captured during sex with a man.

Excited by the abundance of boys in the paintings of Caravaggio, people say that in the picture, under the guise of suicide from a bite, the expression on the young man’s face is captured during sex with a man.

In one of the fights involving Caravaggio, a man was killed. The artist was recognized as the killer, and the Pope outlawed him. This meant that anyone he met had the right to take his life from Caravaggio.

Apple Bullseye: Famous Russian Dynasties of Artists
The best representatives of art dynasties. The Russian land has always been rich in talented people. Writers and poets, sculptors and artists, along with enlighteners and scientists, made up the…


“The Racea”: What does the excursion poem about, which the artist Fedotov wrote in his painting “Major Matchmaking”
The painting by Pavel Andreyevich Fedotov “The Matchmaking of the Major” is now in the Tretyakov Gallery. She has no shortage of attention and viewers. All the more interesting is…


Secrets of “The Last Day of Pompeii”: Which of the Contemporaries Karl Bryullov depicted four times in the picture
1939 years ago, on August 24, 79 AD, the most devastating eruption of Mount Vesuvius occurred, as a result of which the cities of Herculaneum, Stabia and Pompeii were destroyed.…


The Last Pre-Raphaelite: John William Waterhouse - an artist who wrote strong women with a difficult fate
John William Waterhouse is often called the last Pre-Raphaelite. Beautiful long-haired virgins, mythological and medieval plots, wild herbs and overgrown ponds are related to his work with paintings by Millet…