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To the 175th Anniversary of Nikolay Ge

To the 175th Anniversary of Nikolay Ge.

N.N. Ge - is one of most outstanding and significant Russian artists of the second half of the 19th century. First of all its reflection in his creative activity has found moral and ethical problems, which worried the leading Russian intellectuals of that time. N. Ge continued traditions of Alexander Ivanova, who believed in converting person power of art. By his look at modern life Ge was close to I. Kramskoy and L. Tolstoy. Having named one of his pictures "What is truth?", the artist has shown that tries to put before the most complex questions, worrying mankind on the length of centuries. In quest of answer Ge addressed to the plot, taken from the Gospel. Pictures "Secret Evening", "What is truth?", "Calvary", "Crucifixion" caused from the spectators the most different reviews - from delightful to extremely negative. They worried, forced to think, and this was the most important.

The grandson of the French emigre, N.Ge spend childhood and adolescence on the Ukraine. The future artist studied at the mathematical faculty of Kiev, then Petersburg University. In 1850 Ge has entered the Academy of Art in the workshop of Professor P. Basin. The National Art Museum has the picture "Achilles, mourning Patroklus" (x.,m.147,5h172,5.Right down: Nikolay Ge. 1855. Acquired in 1957 at the private owner), painted at the years of training in 1855. Following classical tradition of the academic school, Ge addresses to the plot from "Iliada" of Homer.

Patroklus killed in the battle, struck down by the hand of Hektor. In sorrowfully-solemn pose with tears on eyes bowed over the body of the beloved friend Achilles. Divine beautiful Goddess Fetida - mother of Achilles, who brought to the son new, forged by Gefest, splendid gold armours stands near the bed. Ge draws the arms of the ancient Greek warriors with great skill. Heroic natures, bas-relief composition, local system of the coloring show us sample of the academic picture, for which N. Ge was awarded small gold medal.

Having finished the Academy of Art, N.Ge went to the foreign journey. He visited Germany, Switzerland, France, Italy. The picture "Death of Virginia" was conceived in Rome. The collection of the National Art Museum has a study to it- "Rome Woman" (1857. The study for the unfinished picture "Death of Virginia" on the plot of the tragedy of the same name by V.ALIFIERI. x.,m. 58х42,5. On the left down: 1857. Rome'. N.Ge; below: n2. Acquired in 1959 at the private owner. RZH-590). Italian girl with alive black eyes, dressed in blue, decorated with red tape bodice is shawn on it. The study is painted in a masterful fashion, broadly and liberally, in he shines the Italian Sun, who captivated not one Russian artist. Glamour of this country conquered S. SCHEDRIN, O. KIPRENSKY, K. BRYULLOV. Undoubted influence of the "great Karl" is felt in the study, under impression of his pictures were many young artists then. The Sun and air of Italy have rendered on N. Ge benefical influence, flashing and enriching his color palette. The plot of the picture "In Gefsiman Garden" has ripened in Italy.

The Image of Christ attracted attention of artists in all times. In Russian art of the second half of the 19th century I.KRAMSKOY, V.POLENOV, M.NESTEROV addressed to it. Each artist in one's own way understood and personified this image. N.Ge in Christ searched for the high ethical ideal, saw in him first of all human, rather then the divine nature.

The National Art Museum collecgtion has a study of the male head ("Male Head". 1868. Florence. The study for picture "In Gefsiman Garden" 1869, located in GTG. X.,m.54,5h43,1. On the right down: Alexander Avakumov Kurinnomy from Nick. Ge. Acquired in 1957 at the private owner. RZH-27). The face of the person painted at the study conquers by the enormous internal power, his eyes penetrate to the soul. There is prophet before us, who knows all secrets and depths of the human nature. Created by Ge the image of Christ full of tension. Bright contrast of light and shade, possessed in brown tones of color gamut adds special expressiveness toit .

N.Ge addressed not only to the religious plots. His picture "Petr the First interrogates the Tsarevitch Aleksey in Petergof" became a significant phenomenon in the Russian historic painting of the second half of the 19th century. N. Ge was a talented portrait painter, remarkable portraits of the famous contemporaries of the artist are created by him- A. Gertsen and L.Tolstoy. The whole life N. Ge painfilly searched for the ideal of morality and good. His spiritual requests were exceedingly high, and this added to his creative activity tense, romantic nature, reflecting the most vital requirements of time.

Authors of the project:
Text - Head of lecture-excursion work sector of the Department of scientifically-educational work of the NAM of the RB M.A.Scherbakova 
Illustrative row (photos) - D.Kozlov

Site editor- Head of multimedia technology sector of the Department of scientifically-educational work of the NAM of the RB P. Yanitskaya

Authors of the project express special thanks to:
Keeper of the fund, leading scientific employee E. Shaposhnikova, employee of the technical service V. Mischenko, for help in the organization of the exhibition