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2021-02-13

360 years later or „Скрещенья ног“


In 1896 Paul Gauguin completed Te Arii Vahine (The King’s Wife):

From many similar paintings of his Tahitian period this, together with a couple of preparatory watercolours, is distinguished by artificial legs placement, which can be characterised in Russian by the equally forced line (quoted in this article's title) from a certain universally acclaimed poem. This strange posture is neither a deficiency nor an artistic whim. It is part of a silent, subtle game played over centuries, where moves are echoes and the reward—some flickering form of immortality:
This is Diana Resting, by Cranach the Elder, 1537. Let me just note the birds and leave the pleasure of finding other clues to the reader. Lucas Cranach (and this is more widely known) himself played a very similar game with Dürer.

By sheer luck, the first painting is just few kilometers away from me in Pushkin's museum.

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