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Painting by an American artistJames Abbot McNeill Whistler “Pink and Silver: A Princess from the Country of China” was written between 1863 and 1865. The work became famous after it became the main artistic emphasisThe Peacock Room - the picturesque decoration of the dining room in the London mansion of shipping magnate Frederick Leyland.

The model for this picture of Whistler was a Greek woman of English origin Christina Spartali, the sister of the artist Mary Spartali-Stillman, which was also one of the favorite models of artists included in Brotherhood of the Pre-Raphaelites. “The Princess from the Land of China” is one of Whistler’s several works written during this period: the artist portrayed European women in oriental outfits and in oriental decorations. The "Anglo-Japanese" style has been very popular in Victorian England since the mid-19th century, especially after the 1862 International Exhibition in London, where the Japanese exposition was presented.

On the surviving sketch, the artist depicted flowers, which he later excluded from the composition of the main painting. The screens in the background may have belonged to Whistler himself, as well as the vase seen from the bottom right. Judging by the paintings painted by the mother in the same period -“Caprice in Purple and Gold: A Golden Screen" (1864) and"Whistler in his studio" (1865), he had enough oriental decor.

After the portrait, Whistler assumed that he would be bought by the father of the model, a wealthy Greek entrepreneur and future Greek consul in London, Mikhail Spartali. However, Whistler's large signature, located on the left in the corner, next to the model’s head, did not like that. As a result, the painting was acquired by Frederick Leyland, owner of the shipping company Leyland Shipping Line, a well-known collector of Chinese blue and white porcelain from the Qing and Kangxi dynasties.

A few years later, in 1873, Leyland conceived the reconstruction of his London house at Princes Gate, 49. The work of the dining room was entrusted to the British architect Thomas Jekyll. It was decided to turn the room into an exhibition space for the collection of Leyland porcelain, and the main focus was to be the “Princess from the country of china” by Whistler, which was placed on the north wall.

Jekyll fell ill, and Whistler was instructed to finish work on the dining room. In a burst of inspiration, the artist completely changed the design of his predecessor. Known for his subtle color harmonies and elegant sense of design, the artist believed that the red roses of old leather wallpapers did not harmonize with the colors of his “Princess” ... So the famous was born Harmony in Blue and Gold: The Peacock Room, Whistler’s masterpiece, for which Leyland never paid - but he didn’t change anything.

After Leyland’s death, the “Princess” was auctioned off. Through third hands, its owner was the American industrialist and collector Charles Lang Freer, a friend and admirer of Whistler's talent, the owner of the largest collection of his works (1189 paintings and art objects). A year later, Freer anonymously purchased from the Leyland heirs the entire “Peacock Room”, which he moved to Detroit and placed in his mansion. After the death of the patron, his entire collection was donated to the state. The exposition is located in the walls.Art Galleries Freer in Washington, which was open to the public in 1923. The “Peacock Room” and its pearl - Whistler's painting “Pink and Silver: The Princess from the Country of China” - became part of the exposition of this museum.
James Abbot McNeill Whistler. Pink and Silver: A Princess from China
Pink and Silver: A Princess from China
James Abbot McNeill Whistler
1865, 199.9×116 cm
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Sandro Botticelli. Madonna della Loggia
Madonna della Loggia
Sandro Botticelli
1467, 72×50 cm
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“Madonna della Loggia” (or “Madonna and Child”) is a famous work created by a representative of the Florentine schoolSandro Botticelli in the years 1467-68: this is one of the first paintings attributed by art critics to the era of the early Renaissance. The picture reflects the defining aspects of Christian art: during the times of total illiteracy, it was important to show and sing the main characters of the Christian faith, visually present their stories, and represent symbolism.

Due to some details, the painting was not unanimously attributed as Botticelli's work:brilliant Florentine He didn’t sign his works, although at the time of the Renaissance the artist’s personality already mattered, and the masters began to sign autographs on their works. But not Botticelli: he signed, as confirmed to date, just one picture.

As for Madonna della Loggia, at present, most critics, including an expert such as Adolfo Venturi, definitely identify the painting as one of the first known works of the master. By the time of its creation, the master was about 22-23 years old. For some time it was believed that the work was created Filippino LippisonFra Filippo Lippi - teachers Sandro Botticelli. However, if we turn to the dates, this version has no reason: at the time of writing the picture Filippino was about 10 years old, and it is unlikely that the boy would be able to create such a perfect work - even with such an ingenious father-artist.

In The Madonna della Loggia, Botticelli sought not only to perpetuate the divine face of Mary, the Mother of Jesus, but also to reflect the beauty of the new era, characteristic of Europe. The picture contains a number of key points and attributes that determine the symbolism of the picture. So, Baby Jesus reaches out to hug his mother by the neck, and Madonna looks downwards: her look can be interpreted as love for humanity as a whole. This composition is typical for work Donatello, which was subsequently honed by Filippo Lippi, whose successor was Botticelli. The latter brought his love for the dominance of the contours, bright draperies and smoother lines than the teacher.

The architectural details of the painting are also important - they demonstrate the ideas of the Renaissance: Botticelli depicts the loggia as an early Greco-Roman project, thereby emphasizing the desire to restore the lost knowledge of those times (by the way, rotating in an enlightened society at the Medici court, the artist learned Greek - after the fall of Constantinople in Florence there were many Greek refugees). In a religious context, the architectural construction depicted by the artist symbolizes the solid foundations of the Christian faith and the strong supports on which it is built.

“Madonna della Loggia” became the starting point for the further work of Botticelli on the image of the Mother of God: the theme was continued, in particular, by"Madonna and Child with Angels" (1470),"Madonna by the sea" (1480) and“Madonna with a book” (1480).

The work is done on a wooden panel with tempera paints and is stored in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.
Sandro Botticelli. Madonna della Loggia
Madonna della Loggia
Sandro Botticelli
1467, 72×50 cm
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Ричард Дадд. Sleeping titania
Sleeping titania
Ричард Дадд
1841, 64×77 cm
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    Ричард Дадд. Pack
    Ричард Дадд. Master swing of a fabulous woodcutter
    Ричард Дадд. Pak (fragment)
    Pak (fragment)
    Ричард Дадд
    1841, 59.2×59.2 cm
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