Aleksandr V. Markov
Russian State University for the Humanities
El Greco in Russian poetry
Markov V.A. El Greco in Russian poetry. Vestnik of Kostroma State University, 2020, vol. 26, № 1, pp. 93–101 (In Russ.). DOI 10.34216/1998-0817-2020-26-1-93-101
DOI: 10.34216/1998-0817-2020-26-1-93-101
УДК: 75.03:821.161.1.09
Publish date: 2020-09-15
Annotation: The name El Greco (Doménikos Theotokópoulos) is rarely found in Russian poetry, although French romanticism included him in the canon of world classics. This article assumes that El Greco’s reception in Russian poetry is due not so much to the influence of French romanticism or Spanish surrealism as to the stylistic features of the artist himself, who inherited Cretan icon painting, while in his mature period he followed the Renaissance principles of life-like and rivalry. As a result, El Greco is perceived in Russian culture as a classic imitating nature, and stylistic features are then interpreted as existentially significant rather than a strange and bizarre artist. El Greco is then compared with the characters of his paintings, such as the apostles and evangelists, and is considered to be an artist, communicating something existentially significant about fate. His landscape style was then interpreted as the transformation of artistic conventions into ontologically significant constructions. A close reading of poetic texts dedicated to El Greco (Konstantin Balmont, Anna Akhmatova, Yevgeny Yevtushenko, Viktor Krivulin, Bella Akhmadulina, Svetlana Kekova), and taking into account the theoretical statements about El Greco (Alexandre Benois, Dmitry Likhachov) allows us to show that El Greco was not perceived within the framework of expressionism or surrealism, but in the key of icon-painting ontologism. The techniques of El Greco were then understood in Russian poetry as plot-significant: chiaroscuro and colour turned out to be symbols of life's upheavals, and the mission of the apostle and Orpheus was then identified as a model for a poetic attitude to everyday life.
Keywords: El Greco (Doménikos Theotokópoulos), pictorial technique, ekphrasis, lyric poetry, complex ekphrasis, Spanish painting, lyrical plot, mannerism, technique (device)
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Author's info: Aleksandr V. Markov, ORCID: 0000-0001-6874-1073, Doctor of Philological Science, Professor, Russian State University for the Humanities, Moscow, Russia E-mail: markovius@gmail.com