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Still life secrets

Oleg Gonchar, Curator
05/12/2022, 9:16 PM
Still life secrets
In art, a technique called "allegory" is often used. If the image in the picture means not only what we see, then the author used an allegory. The secret meaning of the allegory can be guessed by association with other phenomena of life that are not mentioned by the painter, but were meant by him, and are known to the viewer. Of course, in order to understand the allegories of the artist, one must be properly immersed in the time when the artist lived and worked. "A work of art should be judged according to the criteria used by its creator." The frescoes in some ancient Roman temple cannot be approached with the same yardstick with which they approach the painting of modernists or the rock paintings of pracivilizations. If, looking at a previously unfamiliar painting, we do not understand its meaning, then this does not necessarily mean that the painting was made by a mediocre author (although this option cannot be ruled out either). In order to penetrate the secret, hidden, meanings of the pictorial canvas, it is necessary to know how people lived in the era under consideration, what they rejoiced at, what they hated, what they were afraid of, and what they were indifferent to.

Floral still lifes can almost instantly tell us about how the artist interpreted the concept of beauty. If an artist is so talented that he managed to absorb the most significant trends of his era, to single out and transfer to the canvas the visual symbols of his era, then by his work we can judge with a high degree of certainty the features of the aesthetics of an entire era. At all times there were few masters of this caliber, but they were, and their names are naturally preserved in the collective memory of mankind. Sometimes the author puts the meaning of a short parable, a philosophical observation into a flower still life. In the modern Ukrainian artist, Natalia Rosputko, for example, we find an example of a flower still life-parable. Her still life with flowers "Nine-sil" depicts four states of the same flower - nine-sil (sometimes called elecampane). The first state - the flower visually ascended above the rest, as if in a fit of feeling, inspiration, insight. The buds of this flower look up into the sky. The second state - the flower is visually a little lower, as if it cannot fly up above the hustle and bustle, above everyday life. Figuratively speaking, he cannot jump higher than himself. High matters are inaccessible (uninteresting) to this flower, and it is immersed in its usual, everyday, worries. The third state is a flower with a defeated bud. Reminds of a man broken by trials, refusing to continue the struggle. Visually, the bud of this flower is much lower than the buds of its neighbors in the vase, and this is undoubtedly the effect conceived by the author. The fourth state is the shadow of a flower on the table. In form, it seems to be the same nine forces, but in content - a ghost. This bud wants to be a nine-strength, and to be there, in a tall vase, which is filled with life-giving moisture. However, his desire is the same phantom as he himself, it will never come true. The four stages of the life of a flower, performed by Natalia Rosputko, symbolize the four states of the human soul, which the artist arranged in descending, fading order - this principle of the composition of the "Nine Forces" still life is easy to read and emphasizes its sound as a visual philosophical parable.