Mastery of pen in Tretyakov Gallery

M. Vorobyov. Self-portrait with family. 1828. Gallic ink, pen on paper. 21.8 x 16.9

The new exposition of Mastery of Pen in Tretyakov Gallery continues a series of temporary exhibitions devoted to mediums and materials of drawing of the 18th – early 20th century. The Museum gives spectators a unique opportunity to trace the history of pen and ink in a context of classical Russian art.

Public have an opportunity to see not only recognized masterpieces but also graphic sheets which were not shown for a long time or were not exposed at all and more often were not known even to experts. It is a question of sketches of pictures, architectural decoration and theatrically-decorative decisions, and also of draught sketches and “the marginal notes” which can be found in travelling albums and letters of artists.

Exhibitions are distinguished with one more characteristic: they are held for no more half a year because of the conditions of storage of graphic sheets. The gallery aspires to reveal spectators the funds as much as it is possible including large and valuable collection of Russian graphic art.

The new exposition will represent one of the most ancient medium of drawing which seems easy in realization but extremely difficult in practice. Without supposing corrections it demands from the author an extreme accuracy and a sharp feeling of form. Pen and ink means masterly skills in line and stroke. Changing and varying the character of a stroke, thickness of line, using wash drawing on black-and-white sheet one can achieve big variety of artistic devices. The pen and ink is not occasionally a tuning fork of artist’s mastery. It is named the most refined medium of drawing, “the music of lines and strokes”.

In the course of centuries pen and ink undergone serious evolution. During different epochs it either acquired severity of line and the quiet harmony of classicism or cultivated romantic fluency and cursive writing of sketch, aspiring to reflect tints of a tone, a play of light and shades in hatching. Depending on individuality of an artist and time requirements it either played a subsidiary role or got self-value.

The curators of the exhibition included either “pure” pen and ink in all its variety or its every possible combinations with other graphic mediums and materials, colourful and monochrome: sepia, bistro, water colour. 300 exhibits represent different genres of drawing: academic sketches of historical compositions, author’s replicas on pictorial canvases of the Itinerants, architectural projects, landscapes, travelling sketches, portrait sketches, book illustrations, sketches of theatrical sceneries. Among authors are representatives of classicism and romanticism – A. Egorov, S. Schedrin, M. Vorobev, K. Bryullov, A. Ivanov, F. Tolstoy, realists I. Shishkin, I. Repin. The visitor can trace the evolution of pen and ink on a boundary of centuries, during an epoch of the Silver age and avant-guard on the works by I. Levitan, V. Serov, M. Vrubel, K. Somov, A. Benua, V. Kandinsky, P. Filonov and other artists represented at the exposition.

The exhibition will be opened till March 1.

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Published in: on January 14, 2009 at 2:48 am  Leave a Comment  
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