Innovators, court portrait painters and scandalous people: 10 famous artists who conquered the world
Caravaggio, Malevich, Picasso, Levitan ... When it comes to the famous artist, then, as a rule, come to mind the names of men who worked at the easel in different…

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“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…

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“Marriage takes away hope”: How artist Paula Moderson-Becker sought a balance between family and work
At the end of the 19th century, the inhabitants of the German village of Vorpsvede only said that they were talking about eccentric artists who lived there. Young men and…

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Jesters and advisers of the monarchs: Famous dwarfs of the Middle Ages on the canvases of court artists

Dwarfs in Medieval Europe were very popular, and the love of them in Italian courts bordered on mania: the clans of Ferrari, Visconti, the Medici kept them at court. The Spanish court of King Philip numbered more than a hundred dwarfs, and the French court of Catherine de Medici – about 80. The court artists, portraying the monarchs, did not forget about their favorites. They were especially sympathetic to young people and, capturing on their canvases, showed sincere sympathy for them. The story of the double portrait of the nude midget of Morgante by the Flemish Agnolo di Cosimo, which is described later in the review, is very impressive.

An indispensable attribute of the royal courts of medieval Europe were jesters and dwarfs, which served as fun for nobles and kings. Moreover, their role in the ruling courts and aristocratic families was unusually important.

So, dwarf jesters could say what they wanted and when they wanted – it was their privilege. They were close and overly loyal to their masters, so they got away with all their tricks and speeches, not always hospitable and filled with caustic sarcasm. There were dwarfs who performed other duties. So, for example, some were ringleaders, others trumpeted horns at tournaments, and still others were actors and musicians. And some of them served as pages, messengers, attorneys, and sometimes they had to be spies to prevent all sorts of intrigues.

The history of the double portrait painted by the Florentine painter Agnolo di Cosimo (Bronzino) (1503-1572), the court painter of the Medici, is very interesting. The portrait shows a naked dwarf named Morgante, the most famous of the five dwarfs at the Medici court in the Palazzo Pitti. He appeared at the court of Cosimo I of Medici, the Grand Duke of Tuscany, around 1540.

The dwarf had an extraordinary mind, was educated and overly kind. Like most young people, he suffered from congenital chondrodystrophy. After 15 years of service, Morgante was blessed with a noble title, land and the right to marry. In addition, the dwarf was extremely devoted to his master and therefore he was honored to accompany him on diplomatic trips. However, despite all his privileges, Morgante was regularly subjected to humiliations of all kinds and even physical violence.

The portrait of the Florentine Bronzino shows the thought: “let him be a freak and a jester, but he is a man!” And the interpretation of the image in a double image itself is interesting because the artist showed: painting, like sculpture, can show an object from different points of view.

However, in its original form, this portrait lasted about two centuries. And in the 18th century, by order of the guardians of morality, the figure of Morgante was bashfully painted with grape leaves and bunches that “turned him into a likeness of Bacchus.”

And only in 2010, Italian restorers returned the canvas to its original form. We see the magnificent dwarf Morgante, depicted in all his masculine beauty both front and rear. On one side of the picture “he poses with a hunting owl, and on the other side the hunter clutches a trophy in his hand – caught birds.”

As a court painter at the Spanish court, Velazquez repeatedly painted portraits of dwarfs. At the turn of the 1630-1640s, he created the famous series of works dedicated to young people, “offended” by nature. However, we see no shade of mockery, no squeamishness, or excessive sympathy on a single rub – only genuine tenderness and sympathy can be seen, which does the honor to the author.

The most impressive of the Velazquez гал gallery of freaks ’is the portrait of the dwarf Sebastian de Morr, whose gaze shows so much strength and gloomy despair. Sebastian suffered from osteochondrodysplasia, as a result of which the growth of cartilage and bone tissues was disrupted in his body.

As an artist, Cardinal Richelieu fulfilled a vow given during the illness of his daughter
In France, the age of d'Artagnan in 1662, the artist Philippe de Champaign set to work on a new painting. Not by order of the royal court, as usual -…

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Innovators, court portrait painters and scandalous people: 10 famous artists who conquered the world
Caravaggio, Malevich, Picasso, Levitan ... When it comes to the famous artist, then, as a rule, come to mind the names of men who worked at the easel in different…

...

Unpleasant Art: Diseases and Death in 19th-20th Century Paintings
Art does not always appeal to the beautiful and beautiful, sometimes from the depicted on the canvases it takes a rash because of the plots chosen by the author. For…

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10 controversial paintings by famous artists that not everyone dares to hang at home
The paintings of famous masters are admired. They seek to acquire, if not originals, then at least reproductions. But among the huge number of paintings by great masters there are…

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