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To 'endeavor, on the contrary, to express them vividly and positively by painterly means. I turn away from the West because for me personclly it has dried up ondbeccuse my sympathies lie with the East.. The West has shown me one thing: everything it has is from the East.' I consider of profound interest that which is now called philistine vulgarity, because it is untouched by the art of blockheads - their thoughts dre directed exclusively to the heights only because they cannot attain them; and also because philistine vulgarity is predominant • nowadays - contemporaneity is characterized by this. But there is no need to fear it; it is quite able to be on object of artistic concern. Artistic vulgarity is much worse because it is inevitable; it is like the percentage of trime in the world, uniform at all times and in all arts. , My lost word is.a stone thrown at.artistic vulgarity - ever aspiring to occupy the place of an achievement of genius. P.S.: My csplrcfion toward the East is not my lost development - I mean gnly to broaden my ontlook; countries that value artistic traditions can help m~this. . For me the East mearUthe creation of new. forms, an extel)ding and deepening of the problems of color. "~ • This will help me to express contemporcnelty-c its living beauty - better and more vividly. I aspire toward nationality and the East, not to narrow the problems of art but, on the contrary, to make it all-embracing and universal. If I extol the art of my country, then it is because I think that it fully deserves this and should occupy a more honorable place than it has done hitherto.
NOTE 1. The' impre .. lonists Irom the Japanese. The synthetists, Gauguin Irom India spoited by ils early renaissance. From the 1.lands 01 Tahiti he apprehended nothing, apart from a tangible type 01 woman. Matisse-Chlnese painting. The Gubists-Negroes (MadagascarJ, Aztecs. As lar the past-<:ertain historians are sadly mistaken In deducing a Romanesque influence, even a Gennan inlluence, on cur Ican~ ..This is so only In isolated cases; generally speaking, what i,th. Romanesque style but the last .tage 01 Byzantine development? Romanesque style i, bcssd on Greclqnlzed, Eastern, Geo<gian, and Armenian model s, If Ea.tern inRuence reached us ln a roundabout way, then this does not prove anythlng-its path was from the East, and the West, as now, served merely", an Intermediate paint. Sullice it to consider Ara.bian and Indian depiction ta establish the genesis 01 our ieans and 01 the art that has hitherto existed among the common peoP.le.· . Originally appeared in the catalogue 01 Goncharovo's second one-men exhibition, Mascow, August. October 1913, pt, 1 ·4. Reprinted From Russian Art of the Avent· Garde. Theory one! Criffcism, 1902: 1934, edited and translated by John E. Bowlt, Thomes and Hudson, London, 1991, 1976 and 1988John E. Bowlt, pp. 54·60, by kind permission 01 the publisher.
CRUCIAL FACTORS OffiRMINING
In painting by texture we usually mean the state of the picture surface as it is perceived by our eye and senses. But as we are going to see below, texture has' a similar meaning in sculpture, architecture and all other oris in which paints, tones and other means produce a certain 'noise' perceived by our consciousness in one way or another. Material
An analysis of this principle naturally brings forth material: nothing can be s~id or done without it. Sometimes it is our good ally, our friend, sometimes the same material is our enemy which must be fought. Little can be done to platinum; it offers' great difficulties in plastic processing while stone can be cut, sown, polished, etc. But take hair as material. Here the history of.culture can demonstrate best what diverse forms can be achieved with this material. A resident of Tierra del FuegoJets it grow freely and his hair is hard as a bush. Assyria curls it, Bushmen tie it and band it with hare's tails, feathers, metal buttons. . Australia powders hair with red ochre and binds it with dough made of grease and ochre. Guinea puts it together with wax which makes it shine as if polished and powders it with white parrot down. Japan pays much attention to the forms of heir-des, while China makes ornamental partings. Rococo with its wigs and other epochs produced hair-dos of most diverse forms and textures. Love for material encourages man. . He likes to decorate and work on it, which allows man to get from the material all its inherent forms, 'noises', everything we call texture. Material is the mother of texture. Every newly-invented material can offer new elements which constitute new endless rows of textures. For the sake of creating a pleasant texture we do not scorn any materials. We continue coveri.ng our body with powder and salves to moke it make it more pleasant to the eye.
Even if we take 'only ochre. crystcls. The combination of colours can give a sense of peace or irritate. eVidently levels all the natlll'al individual qualities of colour agents. from camel excrement. even surface destroys its seeming evenness and silence. perfumes. eyes and other parts of the human body did not escape plastic application either. We like it when metal parts shine on doors. In Chicago a lady from high society wears a necklace made of specially processed eyes of Peruvians. Still 'we see. from sulphur. Not so long ago a large figure of Buddha was made in Japan in honour of heroes who had been killed for which a bout 85. In gelleral it can be said that different degrees of smoothness. for instance. What hove we done to our bodies? Tattooed. buHerfiies. The loiter example makes us think that the sense of texture is not alien to animqls. we thus change the texture of the surface because every spot. I I . produce various shines. In some forms of painting (frescos. we shall notice that it always has its own structure. clay. '" . mixed with oil.Still the texture of colour agents cannot be fully destroyed. while aniline paints. oxidation. In nature we also distinguish and feel the texture and material despite refleelions. for instancellt was produced from the nesls of a certain breed of ants. But what is even stranger. oil. vestments. the praelice remains to this day. for instance) the texture. chandeliers. without admiring her own hair and hands. its 'skin'. floral and chemical colours. of individual colour agents is especially noticeable. I remember only some of them. In mixing colour agents we notice that the individual qualities of each paint ore lost. colours help us create a certain noise for the eye. feathers. We find bunches of flowers made of the wings of buHerflies and fish scales. An abundance of brilliance can also be undesirable. it is found in Qlmost all living beings. Embroideries of human hair were very widespread once. transparenc~. we soften the shine of metals. Bushmen are bappy when they can obtain a metal ring. Iridescent colours have appeared in our industry. some oilier. . for instance. This is even truer today: our clothes. sand colours with varnishes. blue calming. but we prevent bronze monuments from shining in the some way. sometimes white as an admixture to every colour. dash on a blank. the levelling air and other obstacles. its texture. hardened. such as piers. who put finger bones on a band of human skin and wear them as necklaces. there are numerous sorts of various chemical and mechanical-combinations. . We find landscapes made of multicoloured sand. . etc. their forms and textures become original. Take the sources of yellow paint. Magpies sleal shining objects. stones. In libraries we find books with bindings of human skin. the paste thus achieved will affect us in one way or another. Straw is used for making mosaics. Paint was extracted from the most diverse sources by different peoples. Straight. teeth. etc. It is a mistake to think that only the material. Colour agents If we take any pure colour agent. Some believe that iron is unable to convey to us a feeling of weight or volume. paint. emblems or profiles are made of human bones. shawls. It has been discovered that red colour agents are agitating. materials absolutely unfit for expressing plastic idea's are also used. fabrics with a metal shine. Even associations aroused by material or artistic symbols can create the feeling of various non-moterlclnoises' or textures. or water which undoubtedly kills the 'skin' of paint. ' Non-malerial texlure A few words must be said about texture in painting born of its non-material essence. animals play with them. they were never stopped by the extreme scarcity of male rials. dust. In South America fragments of gloss tied to necklaces are the most precious decoration among the natives. In a church in Bohemia many decorations and bUilding elements. the difference becomes evident. inaccessible to other materials. But in painting we mostly deal with colour agents that are ground into powder.In Guinea natives paint their whole bodies with a mixture of coal powder and grease and they are proud when they manage to achieve a deep metal tone . We come across painted images of saints on egg white films. we will see that it does not exist as something stable. A large number of images on a clean surface will offer a 'noise' to the eye other than a surface corrying few forms. If we draw a line on the blank surface of a piece of paper. to stifling blue. wavy or broken lines have different effects on us: The contrasts of light and shadow produce a 'noise' different from. . adorned with pendantsl Primitive man hung upon him almost everything he liked and endured numerous sufferings just for the sake of his body acquiring the desired texture. etc. New Zealand makes pictures of men and gods from a spongy substance. We can discover the same among Indians. transparent and fluorescent colours. intensity of colour. but that is within the reach of stone.000 women sacriRced their hair. the method of processing and blending it form the texture of the object. Shining fruit. Such materials as the bones. others drier. Every 'nation hod and still has on unbeatable desire to create plastic beauty. man does not scorn any techniques to decorate the surface. that iron offers stability without demonstrating mighty power and therefore stone sculptures are more monumental. If you compare ground. pictures. are 'sick' etc. . . Eskimos paint with red ochre or black coal dipped in oil on pieces of whcleskln. but after the tide or rain the figures inflate. . pierced. stars have always entertained the eye. There is a mitre from colibri feathers in Vienna. some paints are 'healthy'. expose stones on their 496 ~. impartial half-light or half-shadow. they construct their small churches of sealskin. distinguish between plan! and sand paint. feel the 'skin' of paint. only altered within known limits. Chambers of curiosities in museums are rich in such articles. dim glass. But that is not enough. they look strange when dry. Moscow has church domes of varying brilliance. Just ask any female member of society whether she can live Without beautifullexture. darken polish. depending on admixtures and naturally having different qualities end thus related to other materials such-es water. skin. clothes. Shine A liking for everything shining is one of the most striking examples of aHachment to a definite texture. covered with scars.
and stone pavements change beyond recognition. the use of fingers and spatula. On. more colourful ornament to balance the painting which is usually simple and not overcrowded. triple frames.On the basis of the above I believe that all principles of creative art playa great role in forming non-materialtexture. Old brushes produce ~itrary brushwork. wild hits of the brush.. thick brushes. Vasari said: Primitivists used several palelles each of a separate tone. Instead of a palelle Amico Aspertini used pots as for fresco painting and hung them around his waist. . Just as otter rain stones sparkle like pearls. possible forms cnd w~techniques depend on the tools. Lorenzo di Credi was especially particular about technique: his palelle sometimes had 20· to 30 tones and he had a separate brush for every shade. a noble artist from a trivial one. a powdered look. The Chinese 'Cover their porcelain with glazing and paintings to the extent that vases seem to have just been taken out of water. Many valuables in Australia are made merely by a shorp stone. unpleasant on the one hand and unattainable on the other.all of them form the non-material texture . . resins and glazing. hear the talk of the tools involved and appreciate their effects. plaster or oil undercoat. formal contents. in materials. scrubbing with a knife. Binalng Malerla/s 497 Many hate oil. A well-known material used as a binder alters the colour value.. =. therefore a setting must accompany every treated object. it must be stressed that Europe loves 10 frame its pictures with contrasting materials. . . A Persian places his figures on a carpet ornament. Instead of oil. lamination are considered by many the necessary techniques that can help produce a good surface in a painting. to paint. pictures with resins came to us from the Orient. one frame is placed inside another . Miniatures in Byzantine manuscripts were also often covered with resins. thin and transparent as paper letting the light through. Japanl makes frames from the same silk.. no matter how perfectly.. . drying oil. then a colourful band goes around . Proudhon sought a firrer binding material for colour agents. There are vases with. Pointllllsm. associations. The Orient (China. spatulas spread paint in even. . then the wall.ds holding a wet object. all principles of creation . siccatives.~ up the surfa~~. so in this case we are dealing with deeble. possible and rich. but takes a thicker. The structure and firmness of the material show the road which the instrument should follow. cloudy. coloured objects alter under the influence of varnishes. paints that flowed from brushes when he dipped them in the dish. intensive. Some colour combinations.the real frame. then there are sticks on the top and boltom. one could think one w. As for materials used for frames. etc.--- . Hence the choice of colour aiients with their light and colour elements. In·~eneral the overlap of different textures generates new. . etc. iridesce. destroy it by a special absorbing undercoat or add kerosene. shining cndrich layers. Of course. unexpected textures. I • Frame Rubies and sapphires are lost. By brushwork alone one can distinguish. The oil dish which he constantly used was filled with filth and dust. are quite acceptable. . the mo·desty of instruments sometimes requires greater muscular effort and many old works clearly indicate that. the oil in it mixed with various. But the backgrount! can also be considered a Frame. There is porcelain with a metal shine produced by overflOWing layers of glass glazes. W". oxidised. intensive. the nature which the colour agent is going to assumes as·well as the manner depend on it. for instance in silk. in wool.a dull finish. alternating carelessness and accuracy should live. covered with a patina of time. . Paint will flow differently on silk. .. a shell. When Walleau returned to a canvas which had been used he indifferently wiped it with oil and overpainted. Manner Tremendous significa~c~'in forming t~xture is given by many to manner and many erroneously reduce texture to manner. Here emptiness serves as a frame. IlIalsna/ens/aving another . And after many experiments he produced a fine salve which gave paintings an almost porcelain look and like porcelain gave the surface light eerie reflections. a Japanese on an empty background. The same is true in sculpture. etc. where they show off by their metal shine and reflections. Drying oil was poured over icons. The enslavement of one material by another or the interaction of several produce a new texture.king Surface The surface on which one' has to paint is important. dirty. We know from history that even witb the most modest means it was possible to achieve what was not achieved with the most t:Jdvanced instruments. tooth or even scratched by nails. In them we can distil19uish traces of temperament. volcanic glass. Tool. polished without a sellting. spreading. He rarely cleaned his palelle and used the same paint for several days. for instance.. . The custom of covering. The orna~ents in the Church of the Stratilatu9 in Novgorod were made with simple iron instruments.
eyes.) The texture created by nature should be recognised as the most arbitrary. 'In the process of carving much is simplified. some parts of the body are altogether absent: for instance. in a word the general texture is more beautiful than in later sculptures where the bulk was broken through. If you take Egyptian stone sculptures of older periods. monumentality amounts to saving the material.forms against a cylinder with nothing sticking out of it.absolutely unknown. The sa'ying is true that when people fall into silence. essence of the material. her arms are lowered. we already have a human figure with parted legs. A human figure is somefimes made by a few lines.~ A block of stone is taken and transformed into a likeness of man-or animal by a few skilful moves. .. author does not intend to establish a strict terminology. neither does he use the sometimes unintelligible slang of artists but wishes to find out the principles of texture in vivid examples. In America. The purpose is not to break it or bore holes but rather come out of it. it never occurred to them to impose new diametrically opposed forms on the initial ones. and ochleves high aesthetic value. for instance. man instead alters material purposefully. The question is interesting because in some arts the plane is the only way of expressing erective thought.a cylinder. of . natural parts of the universe are absent for the benefit of the plastic idea.e. architectural pillars. adaptation to the material. .frical ma. the eye has to [ump over emptiness.. l. In Florida there are many sculptures falling into understandable. (This principle was also noticed by Frobenius in his works on African sculpture. the harmony of these simple forms. Florida and other countries we come across many stone sculpture the texture of which I would want to single out. its bulk. The excavations of Ephesian monuments have led to the discovery of sculptures in which the basic shape is common. PrInciple of Inrroduclng pla~e. This example shows that an artist did not impose foreign forms on a stone. We find idols in the shape of pillars. odjust to it. and there is no longer any mystical texture of 'leaning' against simple masses and shapes. a woman sculpture leans with all its . a cone with all parts of the body extremely simplified. Here the material and its shape provlded a ready general outline. In their depictions of man. primitives resort to the simplest basic forms.. shapes and masses shine through. And even tbough the islanders were skilful in pottery and had sharp obsidian knives. dropped out. dependence on the material and so on and so forth... the stomach and neck are absent. the hair and everything follows the main Iorm. In throe-dimen. their heads approaching a sphere. proceed sparingly . On the other hand. Mus. the bosom is directly followed by legs. that is why we do not notice when important parts of the body. sometimes only a few necessary lines are scratched to bring the stone to life.' . See Band 7. with only the head and buttocks being hinted at by spherical forms. lips and chin are placed on this fundamental plane while the forehead. This principle was upheld by tradition for a very long'time and it can still be traced in sculptures made already under European influence. The overall 'shape of the stone remains almost unchanged. we have texture independent of the shape of the material. universal. ancient craftsmen 'leaned' on the shape of the mcterlcl. In addition to the conventional dependence on given masses prompting the shape of a certain order. Prlncipl. in order to recch the mass again. unbridled naturalism neutralises the material. Wooden sculptures of recent times whlch we find on Rope-nul island are oftE!n bow-shaped. you will see that they attempt to produce the impression of a general mass: there (s no span betweer) legs end arms. Negroes) planes are deliberately introduced into round sculpture as a foundation for further forms. . while among other peoples this principle is. i. zu Dresden). stones will speak. Among many peoples (Eskimos. the impression of a mass of stone was fully destroyed. For instance. in African art some idols are made tall as poles. cheeks. is observad and explanatory details are added later. some forms break out or hide in the stone. !: . and because of the hardness of the material or primitiveness of instruments. a block. Some lines and forms.Imple and geom. Guatemala. Publ. so the form was predetermined by the. So often the shape of the material directly prompts some forms and prohibits others. In three-dImensional ICulptur.' ' . if it has such.lonal. nose are lifted to a new plane. spans. everything is connected by stone.' a column.SCULPTURE Principle of leaning· In three-dImensional sculpture 111"--~--- 498 (* The author apologises for the metaphorical terminology to which he is forced to resort. In absolutely the same way in Gothic art we often see how the shape of ivory influenc~d the composition. In decorative sculpture we often see such a leaning against given shapes. the amount of hair or number of wrinkles is unimportant. only those that could be given without destroying the impression of the mass of stone. The figures on capitals in Vezelay follow the shape of the capitals themselves and do not protrude to the extent of harming the columns. mostly bow-shaped. This principle could be described as the principle of reliance on the material. all the forms of a human or animal body and their movements are subordinated to the shape of the stone. subordinating it to his wishes and creating his own forms and texture.Etnogr. deer and .horse bones. But the. After all..culphlr. energetic and sjmple masses.e. Ancient people made statuettes from mammoth teeth. Here we invent the main shapes. which are no longer destroyed by details. I am working on a special paper on the significance of this principle end its manifestations in the arts of different peoples. for example. eyebrows. The reason for this is that there are almost no trees on the island and the sculptures were made solely from 'old boats. slide along it. des K. for instance.
Therefore the texture of such bas-reliefs is absolutely arbitrary and uninteresting. It would be good if his words were understood in their full sense. The capitals of 5t Sophia Cathedral are intentionally flat. the important things are stressed. we find that basreliefs on the walls are in conditional dependence on the rough surface of the walls. The lotter is almost flat. BAS-RELIEF let us take a closer look at bas-reliefs. we find ivory figures in which the same advancement and retraction of mass are noticeable. Even in Gothic scujptures we can discover traces of the Byzantine principle of ups and downs in the folds of the clothes. almost merging with the main sur-face. There are cases when the practice. for instance. know what deserves and requires elevation and what does not. a very ancient principle which stood strong for millennia and was reborn in Byzcntlum.f. Many Madonnas made cccordtngto the Byzantine' principle have survived in the Abruzzi. If we look at the cake en face. In the caves of France and Spain where paintings. In Byzcnfine. in hymns where everything is based not on the rhythm but on ·the accent. Rodin sqld once that sculpture is an crt' of cavities and humps. It is free from the rise and fall of folds. all the rest is subdued. in Ephesus aating back to the 8th century B. • And wheth~r you like it or not. the skirt. the chaos of accidental reliefs. on ups and downs. In the costumes of all ages we see efforts to lift folds and play with them. ups and downs that in most cases do not correspond to tlie actual structure of the humcn'Irurne or the person in question (crinolines.f 499 ----I A certain liking for a freer te~ture. of life makes us plan all the rises and falls and co-ordinate them with the main plane. here one already feels a certain calculation in decorating the plane with rises. in the Ephesicn temple of Artemis as well as in excavations in Nimrud.) The position and correlation of speculative ups. partly the above-mentioned. one end of which is thinner and the other gradually thickens. as a general mass it is firmly separated from the protrusion of the entire skirt. the skirt part protrudes most. then comes a basket with the hands holding it. The art of striking medals must olso take into account the basic form of a medal.vallon and relrocr. but festive. elevotlons are possible and permissible only within the anatomy of the depicted figures. decorative.gustan and Empire styles. elevated busts. the two worlds worship different gods end wa~ against each other . drawings and sculptures of the 20th millennium B. The head represents the beginning. fiat. killed. Iheortof Negroes' and North Asian peoples offers a broad field for studying 'speculative' play with the elevation and lowering ~f planes. we must have the skill of livening up the plane with elevations. The same applies to the breast.Principle 01 . a search for illustrative and decorative rises resulted in intentional conventions developed by school and tradition. Principl. be clear now _tliat planes and elevcflons created by reason are incompatible with the ones created by nature. 'speculative' ups and downs. Prlnclple 01 'speculative' rises ln bas-reliefs . the lengthening and shortening of shapes. But the bas-reliefs where realistic figures lean against the plane have no special play of planes or elevations. their foliage has lost its own relief and reality. especlolly those covering church floors. Chaotic protrusions in the walls were used for shaping the heads of men and animals. planes.. A more heedful-cttltude to the plane and its rises can be discovered in Au. and depression of masses and planes In Ihre&<Jlmen. etc.eulpl.but related to irregular forms of the material. the play of ups and downs is a universal law. of 'Leaning' in bas-r.!'lmonstrate how rises and falls can be harmonised in bas-reliefs.a Madonna. we will see how each of the parts is interpreted. tight waistlines. etc. The skill in applying the principle in the Ephesian findings is such that one can easily say that it had been known long before or borrowed from other..here we have a deliberate inflation of reliefs. Thus in decorating tombstones. they are marked by 'speculative' texture. _ Fashion designers "contrary to reason and the elements" create new masses in clothes. Realistic figures look glued to planes in an arbitrary way. as we have already said. thinking in terms of ornaments. Take. fundamental rises. But love for planes..on.they would obstruct walking and what Is more important t~ey would destroy the nature and decorative notion of the flatness of the stone and floor. countries.C. One even wants to say that the principle is the same as in Byzantine poetry. Far Eastern.I. but Rodin is also realistic.lonal . but in line with the general declivity the chin sticks out more than the forehead. seems to protrude. can be discovered already in prehistoric art. the less lmportont removed. though. l.C. chance but no sculpture. I~ations in Asia Minor. the head. Take a Tver honey cdke representing a female figure made according to an ancient form. stomachs or other a~tual outlines are impossible . Here is another simple example to. you will see all the important. then comes the third fall . and the chin and lips protrude more than the .the face which almost merges with the main surface. If you look at the cake sideways. the entire skirt is flat with only one protruding sphere representing a button. while other parts of her body are greatly moved backward. The eye registers and admires these two separate protrusions: the skirt and button.e. diagonally located planes and rises appear. d. her arm~ sink in backward planes. the head of Christ is a little spherical. have been discovered.bulging noses. For instance.sculptores we see the flitther development of these principles as well as older Forms.li. It will. forward and backward movements of agglomeration. This intentional adyancement and retraction of forms is. baroque is also 'speculative' at times . natural in his transitions from deep to tall and from tall to deep. This gradual. there is only a vague play of protrusions that simultaneously lead to the last outstanding part.nfenllonal advancemenl . there is nature. The entire bas-relief hos the shape of a small wedge. downs qnd masses alter together with changing fashions. the head of. Here we are given one basic plane and a play of curvatures on it. strengthening rise is a 'speculative' way of playing with protrusions. big and round.
stone. buttresses. its style. height. . The same rich use of materials.I I .. metal paintings. in the Apeninnes. finely carved marble tower in Pisa lies peaceFully on a green lawn. all these temporary and continuously changing covers transform architecture. ' .pilasters of Byzantine churches . In architecture light as an important factor producing a specific: texture also has to be taken inio account. it furnishes amazing wonders but it has been creating them From ancient times in the same ways and in the same direction. balconies. The town of Trevi has a strktly conical shape because the mountain is a cone. or emptiness. in this way trees get a strongenerqefic frame.. poverty _all these factors influence texture. the entire material at its disposal and its forms. What was said about sculpture applies here too. so as to make other hollows and prospects visible. as varnish alters a painting. of course. In Greece we see cubes and a culto] equal angles. horizontal hollows appear and all vertical planes start playing. planes. Hollows are distributed. There is a giant rock used as a temple on Java. clay. In Byzantium _domes. In winter. columns. The same in Siena.nose. retracting. It is also remarkable that in_this case the special form of the wedge is not accidental. the artist chose it deliberately because in a basrelief it syrnbollcclly conveys the impression of the cone of a female figure in a dress.necessity_ From the beginning of time nature has been processing all materials and creating t~xtures. The walls of houses and churches are formed by irregular planes.they all provide different textures. wealth. The white. all this can be described as b~o~e. . cavities that are the foundation and central idea of the entire structure. windows.. owe their material to the locality. mountain slopes. In general. In Assisi a hill is used for a church: one passage below the hill. I I I I! Principles of ba. ' Buildings also often. which results in covert 'leaning' in forms sometimes alien to nature.. rains. mist. Organic life on earth is a a chaos of constantly changing textures. is also created by arches.poculallve' olovanans t1r~~ __ .. depressions. Size. ARCHITECfURE Materials Now a few words about architecture.e. 5_0_0 Architecture has the same play of planes. the same basic spaces. Feam. liglit might suddenly break out from somewhere or hide. TECHNIQUES OF NATURE Texture born of organic. i. In Gcthlc art a cone and an abundance of spires. the lower. doorways. Ught. In towns in the mountains. which alters things so much by its light or reflections. a square in Iront 01 a buil~ing or surrounding it. then smooth walls up to shining copper roofs and chimneys. ups. houses cling to the hills and rocks. In one and tre same bUilding we find a rough foundation outside. profiles. Houses are built from a great variety of materials of different structure and processed in different ways. ' The influence ~I atmosphere. the closer to the forehead. "Principle of 'leaning' in architecture Architecture also leans against surroundings. then rustic. The same applies inside: whether it be the long halls of basilicas or a diminishing row of vauits and intersecting arches. The nose IS at the same height as the cheeks and is separated from them with furrows which are sufficient to represent the nose. These porticoes. For instance. The streaming hair framing the head follows the same tendency. waters and roads gives the red material for buildings. in silence outside the town. Architecture is rich in such frames.ic forms and '. stubbornly hit the eye for a long time. basic masses to which smaller planes and masses are attached. ' . Architecture can also have varying frames. colour. stairways irritate our eye. when all horizontal planes are covered with snow. the red lime of the Jura which penetrates fields. its 'noise'. it is a fact that even the position alone window' can give a bUilding or a church a pleasant or unpleasant 'noise'. this can also be discovered lr the Abruzzi. another on the hill. Nature has its special. downs and intersections. a moonlit night. What is created by organic: and non-organic nature amazes us. dawns and dusks. the sun. ' . or variegation. permanent technique in developing these textures. ' One material enslaving another in architecture . architecture olten has a wonderful frame whether it is the sky. Non-Material Texlurs But the texture of a house. the same basic planes.
A turner from NaftJre 0$ creator of ornamenlJ But maybe nature is' a wonderful stylist. not laws of nature. technology as a whole is the mysterious instrument which is used to achieve art. Quarries have given us images of birds. there is no technique of thinking. . which impli. -tronger than the human hand. our surroundings with their forms. a maker of ornaments? Frost enchants us wi~ ornaments covering our windows.for instance.taught to crecte ornament~ to the bidding of man. The passages·a. our houses. As all this production is an inherent organic necessity. the same movements.black. absolutely different textures. They cannot be absolutely independent of each other. We see that many outstanding works of art are created with the poorest technology and in wonderful and rich technologies we can hardly find elements of art. Many engage in imitating 'the patina'. a layer of dust. A bee makes the same honeycombs. it is unlikely that all the above-mentioned artists could be tamed and. By this technique I imply resourcefulness.. Nature os creator of 'nsw' and 'old' fextlJres There is one more circumstance thanks to which 'nature' is a creator of a whole number of textures. seems enhanced with a rich texture of oxides. We like old marble . but there are times when the texture of decay makes the material very pleasant. cracked. turning everything into dust in the final account. in 1906) that such worms should be trained for industry. was once famous for such work. the atmospheric phenomena and feelings are the some. something he can change at will and so create forms. Symbolically speaking. account in developing textures. our whole life. foresee effects. portraits of historical personalities. . going hand in hand with the wear and tear of the surface. nature has a strong physical and chemical. our reason. school and so on. etc. I want to stress here that school and tradition have played a major role at all times._. One can even find gro~ps that look.es any chcnqe caused by light.S 501 Unlike natural techniques. . Nature goes further. Man chooses as moterlcl soml]thing that is more or less stable. cracks. A Chinese bell found on the river bed after lying there for 3. By touching them with his spirit and hand he makes these materials grow and change according 10 absolutely new laws. spiders spread ornaments in corners. endless worlds. to chemical processing. A suitable . we can establish two types of texture for the human eye: new and old. Tree roots and branches give devils. a cork. sediments. These two worlds are hostile to each other at times and help each other at others. like St George fighting the drogon with the dragon having several heads and a serpentine body. such as old marble. Nature is merciless. Martin Teibner. emphasise it. by various cunning inventions. Nature has the same Influence on textures created by the human hand. Give present-day natives in Africa or Oceania living under European influence the best instruments. bU. Even our chemists are not always able to blow stone so as to make it look like a sponge. etc. However. We love equally the noise of new and old texture. New carpets and curtains are literally covered with dust. strange monuments from Costa Rica made of indistinguishable material.material is chosen for it. The noise of the old one stems from 'the patina of time'. does not change organically. But evidently such a ~I mode of nature also has Its-own 'noise' differing from the handwriting of man. namely. humidity. from this point of view Tolstoy must be right in saying that there is no place for art an earth.. we develop our senses. ' HUMAN TECHNIQUE. mossy agate etc and subjected Regensburg. trees have the same leaves. the same optic colours and lights. it is our enemy end in order to keep the initial texture. Our paintings lose colour. they cannot do anything. animals. but in any case technology is a lactor which always has to be taken into. So thanks to nature. old.nd corridors a woodworm bores under the bark form such beautiful ornaments that it was suggested at an exhibition (in Budapest. the technique of thinking. pictures. crack and darken. the ability to use given means. they have lost everything their . the same textures. the imitator But probably in one direction nature could be called an artist. They do not know anything. .Nature is an enemy of simple form. lower sea organisms have ornamental forms. ' Everything man does belongs to two worlds: the world of technology and the world of art. our pearls.' . and each of them begs' to' be allowed at the helm of the other.tthey will not make the idols their forefathers used to make in 'ancient times.000 years. Schoof and Tracliffon When we touch material with our spirit. Nature. air. . These are two strange. destructive effect on materials. are textures created by man. . streets. no art without them. . How else cqn 'Ye explain to ourselves the numerous attempts to imitate nature~ We have sculptors who create a so-called play of nature or at least strengthen or . elves and nymphs. we have to protect our creations. . green. it has been producing and will reproduce one and the same complicated form. composition. new bronze is processed with acids till it takes on the look of ancient finds. We have corals that look like monkeys.
then the tool is developed. this helpless yawn _l -. and that they are valued machine .e. that are impossible textures '. Experienced known as Asis consists is absolutely achieve fine . love the texture of icons and are surprised Onion juice by ihe dlverslty to paintings places and produce or techniques to liven them used for achieving up with very fine it. still had art and technologies and brought up generations. accidentally of dialeds. technical another One can create orfisflc values. Now . are driven . it be that such imitation all oris.forefathers inherited from prehistoric primitivi~m times. development of this of the in the of bookto the texture dancing. Ana then we see that some are constantly hope of becoming But technologies Which alien to natu~e. apparatus will not oust the charms of hand-made are established. of the following unnoticeable straight lines which procedures.. continues L_ do the same for some reason. Its shape and texture by machines. in the final account i noise. uncontrolled less than hanel-made created can be attributed by man and finally : lost to us. carve all tlte time in the' can be a burden. then a machine-tool for its construcfion. tendency and many other labour-consuming used to exist in our country efforts. which we cannot Take a to do what 502 But on the other energies.this reason many find it necesscry omnipotent. technology. of hands. The fact that many So we are looking invented to machines. are created This can be seen everywhere. etc. to develop trying this method of conveying death-defying movements. differ. a machine does. endere to realism. creating textures such A liking for purely technical tricks._ •• ~. to keep the brush in their hands all the time. Colour equipment. lenses for portraits achievement boxes. training. schools and traditions. of what can be done we see that in some cases man is unable to us. of course. many followed it would be interesting to single out certain tried to to reign elements of our psyche influencing the formation of a'rtistic texture. hanel-made shrlnklnq. from times lost for us but which and their icon-painting arts. for the sake of technology generally subordinate 'hand' mute. of the movements textures. in painful looks for them and often remains ideas by practising leaps appears. art from craftsmanship The East with production will be another has preserved miniatures techniques in our economic which of thick carpets. I can imagine Could how in dull times one of our forefathers resulted in the appearance him. person cannot even with the help of a magnifying gloss.__ _ •••• _. satisfy him.involuntarily. by us.__ _ n. As techniques. icons are covered with-drying . Painting threat to manual on parchment techniques vanished '" with the invention . A new factor influencing textures created an instrument. of them creates artistic values? The one that exists for its own sake. in textures in common destroy' created performance. The technique brushes. •••• - ~~~ - _ . the impression of instant end careless slapdash. So one cannot The beauty produced Two worlds even though by machines Thanks deny elements kate/ok hat as an example. copy actual effects and textures. sing. forces of nature. i. a technology reality.-"". Manual Techniques In touching methods .which raw material do not surrender and machine shape the way our minds require. material with his hands ( the word the need for a special and happiness can be understood suitable in a wider struggle sense) man attempts all orders helplessly to convey his inner feelings One through visible forms. For instance.. speak. that is machine appears. another in his soul. photography.e. mechanical textures involvement. i.the texture of the slapdash. imitated the yawn. technicol materials processing and of out on a growing At first their worlds it hides behind are constantly machines hand knife. This prompts and rapidly there should Naturally technique for implementing from superior impulses. obedience We cannot tricks can serve to convey create new artistic values. manually soya has appeared. textures. man easily acquires finds forms which. the beauty of texture of course. processing. The brushwork painters easily to the eye. and with the further I I 'I 1/ their halo. and such a purification position. is applied to those procedures. there are some natural by the mind. il :1 ImHot/on We have established the relationship between natural texture and II . textures achieved through polnstokinq of life.. with close human it is done with the help of a new slave. noise. 'j men-mode-texture. in the cld days this The same can be said abput Nowadays was done in hot baths. the texture created at the texture of nature as an ideal many manual 'artistic' techniques have been totally create a strong I printing. the And Such have developed their own careless texture . oil in ordinary rooms. So'Icr at the moment have created we are surrounded surrogates by so much machine by hand. yawned. of art and beauty as having movement dialeds dislike nothing cannot with hand-made Futurists feel this new beauty of mechanical with different people by a machine the beauty or.. such textures often escape the eye o~ a layman. many second-rate its cheap artists. fact that they are generated by man. . textures hidden natural energy is used scale.. portrait-painters manpower varnished is appearing 'and painters of mechanical some of nature will lose their raison d'etre. The same can be said about 'The noise' of ancient Russian peasants and its te:<fure is not 'a noise' of artlessness. Machine technique. then gilt is applied an inexperienced simplifying sticks to the fresh brushwork. so that t~e oil would flow in an even loyer. of machines offering their accurate work in abundance it must be said that many artists work . The hastiness ~~~ A common intrusion in art nowadays: quite painstakingly of losing to produce of course. an empty phrase. even though be heaven for .
a . this is a poetic requirement to make poetic mistakes.The texture gives the orfist away because my colour agent in oils always seems to me absolutely different from the corresponding optic hue in naturel . they are so few. If you compare them. ~ Still it is strange that nowadays. sometimes several blots and lines are enough to create the illusion or image of a tree. our evil. If you take a bronze Chinese or Assyrian lion.living. ---- ~ - - . mirrors. In sculpture w~ know only Venus in the Vatican with clothes of tin imitating marble._.s that look like marble and stone. in depicting a lion. In orchltectuml facades we often see much stone and marble though actually there is nothing of the kind. not on the study of individual beauties of new materials. to creation. Celluloid energ~ imitates ivory. when it is an unpleasant fake. energy.~'---~--~ . Will we succeed in theit? Practice has shown that in some cases a ceria in illusion is possible. Natural charms are represented by fals~ panoramas that manage to link a realistic foreground with a flat background. you point so. . who pointed even the sweat on faces. There are mosaic. he carves everything of wood. it reproduces the life we would want to convey and which a slavish imitation of outward forms does not produce. us. an artist might have to choose what he wants to i~itate in nature: only the outward shape of the lion. the sky and landscape from one and the same stone. air. thus instead of satisfaction one feels unhappiness. follow the thorny road from imitation to conception. all creative efforts are concentrated. feeling are felt. the hair is curlier. This will be a symbolic painting capable of conveying the idea of an object. willing to overcome this general aptitude try to deliberately awaken the intellect. Take p~inting. by movements of arms and legs we sometimes imitate the movements of animals. as' to convey the feeling of body. human beings or plants. and only if you are threatened by a fist 'can you imagine that all this is nature. our goodness and joy. an object disappears for the benefit of imitating some experienced effect born of the object. the explanation is the following. o synthesis of the surface of a tree. " Imilation of oldne ss There are 'cases when imitation is out of place. phonograph. this dead stone lion can be much more lifelike than a live lion. Moreover. despite the intricacy of forms. ' In the fine orts 'there are paintings. the skin is smoother. But. we naturally demonstrate in the first place a tendency to imitate nature which has a ready developed texture. In plastic arts onemotericl is constantly imitated by another. bricks are made of wood. The surface of paint. water. ci symbol. One marerlallmltallng another Then we notice thai one material can be imitated by another. to Velazquez. For instance.. One can even. What many people do all their lives is yawn after their neighbours.' . as always. Depict water so that it would seem that it rustles like silk. if it is clear that one material cannot create a full illusi~n of other different materials? As this is a question of imitation. strength. painted with oils and covered with varnish. of nature. sunlight. copies that are actually photos pasted on . whose porlraits represent even skin pores. Symbolic imifalion 503 But why do we imitate.'to this day. One maleriallmltating many In the fine arts we have homogeneous materials. but on the imitaHon of old. you might conclude that a live lion is dead. China requires that the painter depict mountains so that they would seem to breathe. We have draWings printed with the help of zinc plates described as prints from old wood engravings. its movements are more dynamic. familiar textures.' but something of equal value. This example alone shows that the symbols used in imitaHons can differ. as the relevant illusion of the object can be achieved by simple means. this is our prison. Is that possible? The reference of Denner. of course. find symbolic signs conveying the texture of water and silk. especially when there is a chance to work with many materials. the eyes of the men-mode lion shine more. all of the. even the tree itselF. when it is a mockery and hopelessly destroys created beauty. the 'capitals of columns from pressed paper. In general care for accuraie recording of the outside forms. is not convincing. deceptive imitations are endless and their success is more considerable. etc. especially where nature itself reodily provides us with its energies: in cinematography. '. unrestricted imitaHon of the general forms of a live lion. you will see that despite the free..m produce a more or less accurate imitation of certain aspects. Bood textures. but made of plaster. . of course. becouse the life of nature is not portrayed and the imitation is incomplete.vhen there are such great possibilities for developing new. recognised. not chopped. -. . We also know enamels consisting of various surrogates. cannot convey the surface of a tree. In dance. lno word. cheap superficial deception. ornaments and inlays. r But where paint and colour are actively used. say that every material is trying to intrude into the realm of another. glass and glue water. Such deceptive textures are endless in modern handicrafts. others . while man has norhlnq and he has to create everything himself. ' As love for texture is inherent in. etc.canvas. it is bigger and more frightening. Of course. . in this case imitation is the first step on the road to beauty. celluloid painted pink imitates coral. or • its life. In the theatre all props are made of wood and pcpler-mcche. The some in sculpture: a sculptor makes men and animals. . the foreground so that the texture of wood. The necessity or liking for such painting sometimes results in ortlsflc metaphors and can create plastic beauty under known conditions. even the paHern of its structure. stone of tin. lenses. we are often told.
the surface. the same colours. he had a taste developed by tradition which he did not want to give up to please foreigners. Maybe the European paints were more perfect. optics. In old times mare attention was paid to timbre. but attempts fail. we will be dealing only with the surface af the painting. dots of paint barely cover the canvas. In schools draWing is at the service of science. zoology. manner. physics. Vienna Secession. This method is very wide-spread throughout the West. with minor exceptions. categorically refused to take them. On the ather hand we have late Egyptian art where paintings are thick. an aborigine. the 'surface texture af a wark afart. it is approved by European academies today.. Only laymen believe that a great artist can do anything he wishes with any material. i. it would have been better to build the tower of wood €lnd paint it to look old. etc.In our times nobody is able to work so that he could not be distinguished from the spirit of the age he depicts. But here. Thanks to our consistent school we deviated from art and lost traditions. . In general there are few churches created by just one age and not spoiled by the styles of other ages. Russian primitivism seemed to be on the. Fayum portraits found on mummies and naW displayed in cmuseum in Berlin resemble in technique portraits by Frans Hals or Rembrandt. the texture of ancient times cannot be copied. now little attention is paid ta this aspect of painting. that was Western Europe. Who developed ~~islevelling taste? This was done by our school. All styles are being spoiled now. An artist from New Zealand. if someone wanted to restore the lost shape of the tower. . psychology. SURFACE f' I Sulface 0. the impression of oldness is being imitated. history. And even that does not seem to bellttnough and there are hopes of introdUcing the American method of teaching drawing everywhere. epochs that cultivated a love far the material. the noise of those paints was alien to him. That is when the need will lnevitcbly appear to get from the material its best worlds. In this case we will have to take into account the structure. perspectives. for instance. In Notre-Dame in Paris one door bears the spirit of Byzantium. r An artist must undoubtedly have a deep knowledge of and love for the material with which he wants to express his feelings.the canvas resembles a ploughed field. There are frescos of several centuries in San Marco in Venice. evenness ar any other qualities. Even a hcnd-mode tracing from frescos does not approach the original. compressed. t. resembling enamel. Persia and other styles. aid Byzantium. deep. technique and similar factors. Our schools will nip art and love for it in the bud as long as barriers are built between art. So national texture. • We touch the surface of a painting with our eyes already from a distance and rejoice cit its colours. it is fully reconstructed according to the old designs. The surface af icons is 'smelted'. etc. In pointillist works. but the reconstruction is poor. the lawer plane and material shine thraugh. the foreground is thicker and the background is thinner. If he had been an ordinary unskilled barbarian he would have senselessly and unconsciously grabbed the paint. Now we have a common. often freely mixing them. Many people are indifferent to material textures. natural paints. Love For material 504 An artist's taste is manifested in his choice of material. simply apply drawing to solving mathematical tasks. Japan.. . naive lave for the natiye material is being destroyed by international methods of teaching art. Now when a church begins to crumble. the same overlay and thickness of brushwork. In China painting is flowing: it pours like a' waterfall or brook. Imitation is especially unpleasant when you see that the imitator is absolutely unfamiliar with the old principles of art. evening it out. the anatomy of man.. but in reality. There was no such liking in the old days. Only an impartial comparison of the tastes of many peoples provides the chance of establishing which organ In more developed in a specific nation and which natIon is developing its taste more consciously and richly. We come across Gothic churches with plentiful additions and restorations in baroque and rococo. . The San ~arco tower in Venice was built anew but its texture was not restored. I understand that primitive Russias can be at the heart and Western Europe on the surlcce. was once ordered to make a boat. . One can also come ocross 'misiy' icons. shine and certain other qualities of material. . The savage was not tempted by refined tones. another is Gothic. when it was ready he started decorating it with mad spirals in keeping with the school of his country. such are those of the Ea. the same formcfion of the braw arid nose. He was offered good European paints for the purpose. Old paintings are transparent.e. But taste is an inherited matter. the texture of the surface. a simple. we imitate Egypt. whole hordes have the same taste and a national taste can be discovered in a people of one race and this people finds it difficult to understand the taste of another people. we do not believe it. In restoring churches. if I must accurately convey the shape of a muscle? But the history of art teaches us that there used to be whale. in essence . science and nature. . even mocked them and painted the boat with his folk. What do I care about the hue and nature of ochre. everything was the other way round.' painting If we look at a painting only as a pcinted canvas 'Without paying any attention ta the symbolic signs that should be understood by us. in modern pointing the surface generally has the nature of a bas-relief . Chino. in certain cases we trust only photos.t. discover its secrets. A national handicraft exhibition as arranged in St Petersburg in 1913: all the works of craftsmen made under the instruction of teachers at this exhibition seemed to be made in the spirit of Old Russia. studying botany. Unfortunately nowadays this love for the material and joy in texture has been lost. their creative tasks lie in the sphere of non-mcterlol textures. with the help of drawing we should study the laws of nature. As a joker said. international established taste recognising this and rejecting that. surface. but the primitive artist could not achieve with them what he wished.
Modern p~inting has lost many interesting materials and colour agents which used to be used to create the surface texture.2 in the conviction that this finely rubbed colour can meet all my : needs. it can be beautiful even though severely damaged by time. Reynolds went so far as to make the following philosophical statement: cracked paintings are the most pleasant. The texture of a paint is responsible for harmony or the absence of harmony. ' If we do not pay attention to the nature of the colour agenrmore carefully. we dlsflngulsh a colour reproduction from a painting. One side evidently finds nothing interesting in dark icons. Surface of scu'pllJ. . Can the tone itself be beautiful withou_tany influence of the texture of the material? That is impossible. a Fellow from the countryside. cracks. of Icon cleaning But what should we think of icon clearying? ' • Artlsts have already split into tWo hostile camps.. everyihing is put in order with the help of siccatives and paint. the latter are always considered superior. do not serve the purpose . he did not like the jug that way. sometimes overlays of paint are formed by accident. Trees and crosses were energetically drawn everywhere.etc. The middle and backgrounds were also thick. Siccative But we also know another type of connoisseur of. etc. sometimes absolutely unintelligible. freshness or dryn~dness indicates that paints are hnked by one and the same hormonlous texture. practical considerations do not permit or destroy other textures. wishes to see them cleaned. found an ancient copper jug in the earth. archaeology. .d out.he strongest ~ontrasts. I personally do not understond'ct all how one can take a Meves ochre No. tarnish. Fuooiture. ' ----------------------------- -. as Far as lustre was concerned. According to Academy rules this is done in the following way: the sky.. for instance is painted evenly while the moon on it is pclnted-lhlckly to stan. the study and interest in icons are so new.. ' At times a beautiFul bas-relieF surface is provided by time. this has been practised only during the past five years and it has not been established how the polish will preserve an icon. war: old cannons are covered with black varnish.Kurilko.plcture and the elevations are absolutely unmotivated. layers of point sometimes painting subjects absolutely different from the initial layer. glittering with various hues and particles oxides. Almost our entire surroundings ere covered with siccatives. The other considers that it is premature. blots of impossible thickness. colourful.to clean icons. suddenly combine. " 505 The same conbe said about sculpture Take a fragment of a statue. in their original form they wont all the tarnish. For instance. A good friend of mine. How does thi~ happen? The same softness. So little has been done in this sphere. Prussiort blue. our texture is produced by Meves on oil. Siccatives are a nightmare of our age. they admire the purity and brightness of colours appearing Fro'munder the dirty layer of drying oil and soot. cracked frescos. the surface of the picture gave a rich impression because an abundance of furrows. many use plaster or casein as an undercoat for a canvas. shine and Fade. I imagine that it is possible to make a painting from one of the same red._~erent ton~s. We like old. rubbed it properly and covered it with silver on siccative.. In order to alter the nature of a paint even the least bit. only torsos resembling those found in excavations after lying underground for centuries.. either by relieF or the impressions of the brush into the general dough so that in the foreground the trunk of a tree was deeper than the general surface of the oily dough: The entire surface of the picture seemed to be ploughed by Furrows and waves and this waviness contained love. the restoration experts themselves still differ over certain techniques of restoration. producing the impression of a bas-relief. Furiously attacking each other over this matter. tenderness. a peeling icon. that is why our painting has no 'skeleton'. in a word. cleaned icons are now covered with polish (this information was kindly provided by the restorer and collector Mr. The sharpest. t. we will repeat one and the same timbre for the nth time. The picture was thickly painted with an excess of oil.------ . mOSl. I lind the division of paints into fi_nely rubbed and poorly rubbed seems strange to me.. the prows of ships are painted anew into some colour. Other dull or acid agents such oscoput mortuum. who will publish his studies in the near future). ~ good engraving from a bad one or from a lithograph. doors. colourful tones but in different textures of !he tone. II a sunlit:landscape is painted. pUrity. Naturally such a crude materiaris unfit for conveying 'air'. Once I happened to see a picture of a graveyard'paintedespecially to produce the effect of a bas-relieF. even though limbs or head may be absent. heads and hands.' " We have few colours with basic textures. dimness and other accidental phenomena.-. Could this be the explanation for the love. On the other hand. thick brushwork and a thick overlay of paint come to the foreground and the parts 6f the picture where spots of sunlight" should be. strictly correspond to definite objects in nature. everything has been levelled by this gluey surface: stoves. took it. old textures. All these outstanding points. Several words remain to be said about cases when the surface of a picture is painted thickly and unevenly. It is unthinkable to copy the texture of an old painting with its effects. their crossings. I will mention the gold and silver 10veC!by the Orient. but they are absolutely accidental with regard to the surface of a . A study of the state of the texture helps us distinguish the original from the most accurate copy.-. walls.M.and imitation of some sculptors who create figures without legs. of course. The same is done in museums of history. made the oil glimmer.
in museums of natural science we are shown very naturally various stuffed animals among real grass. if you examine a piece of drying oil through a microscope you will discover that only the upper layer is dark while the lower remains as fresh as new. or limit oneself to only a few cleaned copies. . Only in recent times have connoisseurs and some artists shown a certain interest in studying the artistic values of icon-painting· and thank God if the latter will get down to work. Cleaned icons seem scratched. religion and God. the colours of icons are fresh and bright. public staterooms are going to deal with this. metals. Still I cannot do that. all the tones are absolutely dark and in such cases it ls'hcrd to keep from cleaning them. who finds more beauty in them than in any other paintings. But nobody in either Russia or Western Europe has made aesthetic studies of icon-painting. but remain dominating elements in expressing artistic ideas. _.. L . Think of one more circumstance. . additional drawings) they have marvellously preserved the freshness and brightness of the original painting. as if they attempi to follow Western European painting.tame lians. These differences in the camp of restorers are very important and it is important for the sake of protecting art to know which side is right and. in a pavilion of gold decorated with grapevines of precious stones. it is pleasant to discover fresh. water. otherwise we risk losing everything that has been cleaned. But probably one should not regard as a subject of serious study such a phenomenon in . simultaneously I will probably manage to defend these and other above·mentioned alleged absurdities and prove their oesthetlc value and necessity. as it was recognised 0 long time ago that such allegedly cheap taste is covered merely by handicrafts and it has been established that it is useful ond permissible to express ortlstlc-ideas in just one material. One can show any country or place in such a way . the last bit differs strikingly from the cleaned part: It is still not absolutely clear what causes this phenomenon: the gradual yellOWing and later darkening. the tone of materials. ·that private collectors and scientists can engage in experiments. But in the plastic arts we frequently deal simultaneously with several materials which do not lose their independence. so that they only collect and protect valuables. To justify myself I will try to find out what role the choice of materials plays in the life of peoples in general. where a foreign hand has not rewritten what was once painted. The Persian king Darius held his receptions under plane trees adorned with silver decorations. bright lower layers. bushes and stones.guards in purple clothes and panther skins . vestments. oil. Ihe natural selection of materials. under which he strolled. Even for this reason. but first we could study the paints and their combinatrons~in miniatures where their freshness is intact. who stand so for away from this art. . we should sooner be surprised by the primitiveness and loss of the feeling of beauty by our ancestors. We find CI rich selection of materials in the world surrounding us. He who has dedicated all his life to art. CHOICE OF MATERIALS 506 In painting we deal with different materials and their combinations undoubtedly provide us with differing colour impressions. Even Xerxes decorated his "favourite trees. then everything becomes yellow. fauna and florc there are differen!. but if museums. With the noise of colour. what should be removed. but already six hours later they begin to grow yellow: at first a separate spot begins.e. the painting itself with precious stones. Despite the unfavourable condltlons in which the icons were kept (soot. physicists and chemists should conduct longer experiments ond work on such matters. There are. in a word. tall.. if public property is going to be sacrificed for doubtful phcntorns.had to create the impression of the splendour and might of the king. and if you travel to India. as it is going to be extremely difficult to remove polish from a tortured icon. Se/edJon 01 maierlais in now". . decorated elephants. let alone to defend it. that paintings and sculptures especially in churches are covered with clothes. i. which is quite desirable. The entire surroundings of" Darius . for instance. But just think of icons. Birds. they say the sun. Arnartco. it will be extremely sadl The task of such institutions should be narrowed. this only goes to prave that drying oil served as a wonderful light filter. He is nol content with the repealing. only he can be indignant at the coolness of restorers in power. t~ough. when many materials are used simultaneously. Who should be the judge in cleaning an leon. Only one more thing can be said. . It would seem that it is inappropriate and even unnecessary to speak of all that. if other parts of an icon are cleaned. the process should be approached with care -. Selectian of materials in ott But man is not conlenl. -. but the difference between the materials themselves (clay. and one can only hope that polish will produce the seme result. such shimmering of brown and gold. bring him closer to God. copper. icons are discippearing~ 0' I remember darkened St Georges with such a unique dark surface. shoulderbands. with golden rings. . dressed in gold and silver you will never find such hues in either Rembrandt. What else do you need? II Is incomprehensible why we are not content with thall After all. He wants toselect them his own way. materials seem to sink in the common binding material and mainly colour this cominon material. the total cleaning of all icons is lightminded.After cleaning. he who after wandering through foreign art approaches icons. . etc. sculpture. icons so darkened that one cannot see a thing. all·that destroys our modern concept of painting. in general to have more fundamental studies.. . water and the rest give· us an eternally changing arrangement. Of course. mountains. The cleaning of icons prompts very unpleasant questions. what should be left? Can the Academy be considered a fair judge? God forbidl Just think of the art it has filled our churches with. etc. decorated with various materials. . . the choice of textures we attempt to bring the people ta beauty. Leonardo or Rivera. inlays.) is not clearly felt by us in easel painting. but then the removal of the upper layer is enough. churches. they are decorated with haloes. etc. In general. in energetic cleaning the texture of an icon is lost for centuries..
China. shape or .. mother-of-pearl. This relief should be distinguished from the. to combine it with other materials. We can be only amazed. made sculpturally and gilded. or fearing any associations. bringing out its hidden 'noises' and geting aesthetic pleasure in this way.say. In the age of baroque. . for excmple. This mixing of materials is a favourite game of many peoples and one which gives birth to many forms of beauty. wood. etc. . This seems to represent the struggle of two worlds. colour ornaments) and we know such examples in Egypt. for instance. The possible mechanical connf:Vilion is unimportant for art.other secret laws. solid and perfect texture of a selection of materials. Such outstanding examples sometimes also appear in handicrafts. reliefs we see. Toke.' . saints or scenes in unrealistic forms.and such a new harmony are songs of a special order. wood. which used to be hammered to form ornamental patterns? 507 EoslavemMt of 006 matorial by another But let us. altering the texture like varnish. When such combinations cppeqr in our clothes we are not surprised and find them useful. mouth. finely carved chairs with an absolutely separate ornament of metal strips on top of the carving. taste~ . by the audacity and boldness of approach to the crudest and cheapest materials. this struggle creates a new texture. sculptures. It is extremely difficult to combine them mechanically well and only very lately has this been achieved by our technology and now we are getting from industry a sober. lamps hanging in front of them with shimmering light and smoke. ~ Man collects an'd combines materials according 10 his own laws. Everything is linked mechanically but there is no feeling of a spiritual connection. wood and metal. Phoenicia. the golden relief of the horseman and the flat paintings of the picture are skilfully balanced by inner laws. Here we also see a rich selection of materials. In ancient times sculptures were decorated with inlays (eyes. but which in the final account produces some secret harmony. At present we have developed a liking for several combinations we consider successful. or should we be afraid of cheap materials and chea p. for inslan~orcelain cups of Empire times.. mica or a European button serve as eyes. and is capable of working with them. the inner. hair. We have lost many sets of simple materials. a new noise having nothing in common with either of the struggling components. gold and silver reliefs. I would . tangible materials. Such materials as coconuts or horns were transformed into household utensils. shoulder covers. were combined with porcelain and amber with insects buried in it. . pieces of coal. . block artistic ideas at work in combining the materials. Where' has the art gone' of decorating wooden church doors with giant nails. but all these golden reliefs are accidental as far as the plane is concerned. gave orders to decorate the camps of his guards with the tin from sardine cons. _ But there is in our soul an insurmountable desire to conflate a material with something alien. separating it from others. More than that. their effects and textures. one world is covering. In museums we find old. towels. but we feel the 'beauty emanating from 'Such a set. we see icons decorated with paper flowers. that arbitrarily cover the carving.e.. and unheedingly combined for the sake of beauty materials that cannot be properly linked technically. we see that when we study the poetry of different countries. Greece and the primitives of all possible peoples. These mcrkesbcsed associations degrade materials. mechanical and aesthetic lies between maler/all Of course. halos. here the resultant object can be considered a symbol of varnish.. unfamiliar with associations reigning in Europe. symbolically arouses the understanding and feeling of new worlds and beauties.return to icons. stones. the Virgin. two competitors struggle for existence. masks. - . unreal world and the outside tangible world. We see paintings surrounded by metal plates which are again surrounded by paintings then ag~in plates. dolls of primitive peoples mode of different. Every age had its own favourite sets of materials: We often do not know whether materials are brought together by their surface texture. But there were times when we were more daring. the other concealing. we discover that all metal parts of clothes. On those pictures we see flashes. and we recognise it as a success When an alien material blends well with the initial one. we fee] a need to admire only one material fully. in pictures by Vivarini (b. l. As we know the Russian people paints its icons whether it is an image of God. horn. random materials. beads. their comblned texture gives us a piece 'of the mystical. they toke away from and give .something to ecich other. There is'an icon in Kczonskll Cathedral in St Petersburg with a giant figure of a horseman.1470) and which can be sooner called artificial. the paintings are partly or almost fully covered with metal mountings. A Negro chief in Haiti. thick brushwork. while the real world is introduced only by the selection ~ inlay of actual. simple techniques. And he is a true jeweller or artist who understands cheap materials too.. and such a combination. 'one attacks another. metals and decor. Even here the two worlds overlap. Think. straw. In them two artis)ic elements. cheap contrasts in which every spot is out of turie. even turbans and saddles protrude in places. .-------'-----__. . icons have inlays of alien materials. people were not so shy and used materials without hiding under their intensive processing. Assyria. take' precious materials for necklaces and other decorations. • The choice of materials is an important factor that can give great pleasure. framed with precious. .ated with stones: ostrich eggs... but their exclusive use deprives us of many other beauties and harmonies. for instance. glass. the bottom of which was made of glass. '. We.along with dlcmonds._~---Natural. Can we not use. seashells in which pieces of amber. We 'see even purer combinations free from doily associations but based on innocent direct joy in primitives. iron.
let us recall the pygmies of Central Africa. For instance. there is only painting with materials. She is walking to a pavilion in which beams of moonlight weave their cloth.. the poet chooses softly shimmering materials covered with the moist shine of dew. haloes and shoulder stripes produce the richest combinations. One should also note a tendency among some futurists. Her hand slowly brings down a curtain of pearls And the wonderful stones fall Murmuring like a waterfall Pierced by sunbeams. refinement. etc. The artist glues old yellowed newspapers on the canvas and makes a drawing on them. woman or man can be guessed at in all the arts like handwriting. . But why do we have such a monotonous tone quality in modern painting~ a a . and then he literally polishes some other parts of a picture with varnishes. cloth or oiher materials can be extremely volucble from the artistic point of view. opulent Byzantium and so on. Travelling around the world. The work of a child. etc. - All steps glimmer with moonlight.vghthe pears And watches the moonlight long and sadly. more or less definitely expressed. . etc. Gualdo Tadino. In places he scatters amounts of paint mixed with sand on the even surface of a painting. golden backgrounds. but at the same time horrifying vitality of these beings.how close they are to each other and how differentl Cascio represents sandy. Let us take Umbria as an example. That is why the clothing of en~re figures in metal. if t~is is done by a skilful hand. the enfertoining. weight and tension we see in Sassanid sculpturesl And somewhat later Persian art. . light. thin one. therefore such selections cannot be compared to the plastic selections inherited from ancient times. But in choosing such materials ihese artists only wanted to arouse specific actual cssocictlons without thinking of any plastic ideo. TONE QUALITY ~ 508 When material and non-material textures combine to produce a common 'noise'. . And the playing dew moistens the hem of noble robes.eyed by anyone material. She stops on the threshold visionless. one of the greatest Chinese poets of the lang epoch. whitish hues. • . . mainly sculptors.an angelic tone quality. The autumn.everything breathes the countryside. no transparent colours. the strength of their eye and micro-technical culture of tbeir fingers. Assisi. stick in glass eyes. If we get back to icons. There is no deep philosophical thought in this work. fat person immediately stands out of a crowd of people. Take Picasso for example. How much power. he glues pieces of coloured posters. Plutarch wrote that there are women who leave a fain~ and fragile imprint on our soul resembling tempera painting. Gualdo ladino. As we see here. In sculpture we will see strong and clear tone qualities. History has demonstrated that a tone quality achieved by one people cannot be attained byanother. the cattle-shed. we will notice that their very painting is rich in shine and glitter. And it reflects ~ full moon.'noises' in one way or another. the st. we get a 'noise' or texture with a certain tone quality. clear linear drawings . The effect of a darkly-painted head and halo of dark silver cannot be conv. As far as painting is concerned. Assisi is a town of religious ecstasy. clumsy outline . their works reflect an extremely. fine handwriting. which is already delicate. but there are also those who create the impression of the burning and permanence of encaustic painting. of course. Everything is painted on. carpets. iron bars. One can sacrifice the Independent formal beauty of one material for the sake of new harmony. the beauty of canvas. intimate with its miniatures. . . dnyone can see that every people.Let me quote a poem by li Tai Po. A person with a bit of everything is lost because the chaos of his merits does not produce a distinct tone quality.Jmeapplies to a tall. the 'scuola locale (not Glotto] is differentclean. moonlight shining thrv. Unconlclous tone quality Every person has h'is own nature. And the queen listens to the murmur And sadly looks at the moonlight. he also sprinkles individual grains of sand covered with paint on the even surface. it is absolutely evident that every village rich in frescos clearly differs from another in its scuola locale. lively temperament. combine a figure wiih pieces of wooden window frames with window-pones. which Is absorbed by ihe material used by this person as a creator. a fragment of. heavy peasant paintings. and we must recognise individuality as a factor which unconsciously gives a striki~g tone quality to creative work. This set of materials helps produce the special texture of shine whlch is out of reach of just one material. but the introduction of metal mountings. when both textures help each other create a certain quality of the noise which distinguishes it from many other. At ihe end of this chapter I would like to single out the findings of modern painters. Coscia . A dew-sprinkled stairway of white transparent jade is going up. They also offer quite d bold choice of materials. every town. The queen in a long dress is walking up the stairs. crude. Here it is also interesting to mention his technique of producing a surface. transparent.. every village has its own tone quality. they glue real hair to the head. like a sponge. simple and strong working life. earthly tones. canvas with its unpainted side up. In ordinary life a small.
ways of processing them. pale sentimentality. we can create them intentionally. Our academies are accusiomed to criticise stiff or heavy. the walls are covered' with icons to the very floor. instead of trying to make our suits black or neutral grey. The size of the mcteriolond work of art also play an important role in forming the tone quality. the feeling of texture developed and by constrast in times of realism the feeling was reduced to nothing. festive. in the area below the main dome. toughness. Even the colour agents and materipls in which a given locality is rich are responsible for a certain tone quality. the glitter of stones. but the idea of a tone quality only by a specific material and within specific limits. the tone quality even' less. you can see a cave church with one wall a crudely worked part of a rock. The artists in the Villages in Italy whom we mentioned above. let usthlnk of ~ cherry storie in a D. a tone quality common for all academies. not individual stones served as material (Egypt. there are no longer giant stone figures. • The combination of textures can also create a special tone quality. example. Abu Simbel. factors in addition to personcllty should playa major role in producing a tone quality. Big stone pictures of'kings on Easter Island were cut right in the rock. New art is trying to achieve knowi~ly what is stricriy punished in educational institutions. From this we can conclude that other . By thoughtlessly mixing all God-given colour agents. brocade in rich gay colours. Petersburg. involuntary limitations in the choice of means for implementing plastic ideas. walls covered with frescoes in red. Intentional lone qualify So haVing learned certain elements capable of giving a general tone quality to textures.all such earthy tones in the texture of their surface. generally speaking. cold and other the features of painting. t~e' material leads us to giants. Easter Island. The unpainted house~alian towns. then stone disappeared and so did enormous sizes. metall dense tones of singing. arrogant restraint. Our towns. by which loved gigantic monuments. Nature will not help here. the Hoar is made of jasper. . A French artist will point Russian surroundings exactly the same as o Russian French surroundings . and approved by them. p'aintin'gs are dark. red tile roofs in Gothic towns call all and serve as an. faintheartedness and colour fear. Fjr>t published as Fakfura by the Union of Youth. In the Cathedral of the Annunciation in Moscow. But as soon as man lear~ed to smelt bigger figures from bronze. Now we find it difficult to guess or distinguish a nation by paintings.qucllty. our streets. the latter ordered the main street to be pointed pink in honour of the guest. love of such a tone quality'is lost. If an artist walJls to get a tone quality of weight. during the ages when realism was out of favour. our clothes are grey. now gone. basses in such perfect harmony with the dark icons. in order to form a pcrflculcr gamut and tone. In the latter case. if attention were paid to the colour element of city streets. texture a specific trace of these locol schools. As a c. only it can help him find out how this or that tone quality con be achieved. one has no time to pay attention to texture. o I S09 It is a well-known facl that when the heir to the throne of Britain visited the Maharaja of Jaipur. . artists benefited from the proportions created by nature. the ceiling painted in caput mortuum .the tone qualifies of their paintings will not give away their nation. lamps. The scarcity or monotony of materials. cowardice. Modern artists must knOWingly economise. 1914.. I believe we would feel absolutely different. . on the other. here we have to recognise on the one hand a naive liking for flowers. China).~ . achieve tone quality unintentionally by occldentclly selecting colour agents. materials. we shall never ochleve a specific tone quality.:ontrastto them. and at times throwaway from their rich palette many agents and colours. It sometimes happens that our home interior is in livelier tones but our towns remain dreary and sadly grey. As for the world of colours. A big cathedral and a small chapel differ ln'tone quality. In other areas the tone is different. results that levels the plastic works of art of all nations. St. . There were times. to sizes far exceeding man as a unit of the world.we have our stone idols or Egyptian monolith sculptures. How pleasant it must be to wear richly coloured silk. . How strange we find the tone of the interior of the old rural churches with floors made of ordinary red brick. he should seek advice only from old art. etc. for instance in Italy. dry. add their own tone quality to a work besidlZ-. frescos painted in indigo and ultramarine end the altar lit by daylight through a hole drilled in the rock. evidently such work with material resulted from love for giant dimensions. The idea of form can be conveyed by any materials. for colour senses. In the final account. Trcnslcted from lhe Russian by Maria Laakso. Once entire rocks and mountains slopes. the wealth of green roofs in Moscow.&-sden museum on which 180 heads are engraved or sculptures of carriages driven in tandem by coachmen that go through the eye of d needle.!he will of a creator. brown as cakes lying on the banks of emerald rivers. . Naturally when one paints from nature copying nature. .• . • .
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