Филологический класс (Feb 2018)

SOMOV'S ROCOCO: PLAYFUL AND SERIOUS

  • Svetlana Vladimirovna Somova

DOI
https://doi.org/10.26710/fk18-04-08
Journal volume & issue
no. 4 (54)
pp. 56 – 64

Abstract

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The article raises the question of the relationship in the works of Konstantin Somov made in the style of the so-called «gallant scenes», and his art of portraiture and landscape. In the style of the gallant scenes the aesthetic orientation to the French Rococo paintings is obvious, but Somov knew and perfectly illustrated the key rococo novels. The scientific concept of Rococo allows us to understand it as the lifestyle of an era in which a new identity of a person is formed. One of the manifestations of this is the public lack of seriousness as a playful manifestation of self-determination of an individual, the other is recognition of the value of private life and an interest in its controversial intimate psychology, which has found itself most deeply in the art of the novel. It is shown that if in the Rococo of XVIII century these two features of the manifestation of the personal principle were internally connected then in Somov’s art they are sharply separated from each other. Public life in the so-called gallant scenes lose their inner content and become theatricality, the sophisticated beauty of a game of life as an exquisite work of culture and art. According to Somov this culture corresponds to the pure beauty of pictures of a tamed, artfully cropped nature as part of civilization. The beauty of the gallant world in the portraits is opposed by the beauty of the artist’s subtle penetration into the depth and uniqueness of the intimate inner life of a person which opens only to the artist’s eyes and is alienated from social reality. Nature in the colors and forms of landscapes by Somov reveals the beauty of a homely warm and gentle, then powerful and free power. This side of Somov's creative work allows a meaningful assessment of the elements of ambiguity and irony, a certain drama in the image of the naive gallant world blinded by the external and not aware of its conflict with life.

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