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18 April 2012

Unpublicised Forthcoming Event: Arty Riot at Christ the Saviour

I believe that somewhere near the bottom of the vast pile of reasons why English is hard for Russians to master (and vice versa) lies that fact that today’s international language evolved amongst people for whom the sea was a dominating presence, physically, economically, romantically and militarily. Everything is fluid and, like maritime weather and the markets, nothing is ever settled for long. Rigid planning does not work. Real life exists in a state of constant flux, as does the English language which has no fixed rules, vocabulary or grammar. Those are simple historical facts, though of course their causes and consequences can be debated.
     Another related historical fact is that Russia has produced only one painter of maritime scenes which, to me, really get it. He was the incredibly prolific nineteenth century artist, Ivan Aivazovsky (who was actually Armenian, and who married an Englishwoman). His picture, View of Venice: San Giorgio Maggiore, will be on display at the pre-auction exhibition staged next week by MacDougall’s, the London auction house which specialises in Russian art. (Estimated price: £1-2 million) The exhibition is at the Christ the Saviour Cathedral, otherwise known as the Russian home of female punk rock. It will be open on 25 and 26 April in the Arts Centre there. Further details from MacDougall’s website: info@macdougallauction.com

1 comment:

  1. A truly great painter, I always used to argue with Russian friends as to whether he was greater than Turner. In recent years I have come around to their way of thinking (i.e., he was, so £ 1-2 million would appear to be a snip). Criminally, the Tretyakov Gallery has only one of Aivazovsky's paintings on display.