7. The world of painting - Use your english


My family and I had been watching a scary science-fiction film for an hour when I noticed that I was alone in the room. We had been looking forward to this film all day. but when I looked round, the room was empty! My little sister had left the room earlier. She had been crying because she was scared. My mum and dad had been sitting on the sofa, but then they went to make some coffee. Outside it was dark and it had been raining all evening. Suddenly. I heard a strange moaning noise. 'Mum!' I yelled. Then Dad laughed. He had been hiding behind my chair.


1. She was hungry because she hadn’t eaten anything all day.

2.   By the time I had leaved school. I decided to become a painter.

3.  We had just heard the news when you rang.

4.   When I turned on the TV the programme had already started.

5.   I had already thought of that before you suggested it.


Sir Joshua Reynolds was the most outstanding portraitist of the second half of 18th century. In December 1768 the Royal Academy was founded and Reynolds became its first president. He created a whole gallery of portraits of the most famous people of that period. He usually painted his characters in heroic sitter and showed them as the best people of the nation.

But the leading portraitist of his day was Thomas Lawrence. He became painter to George III in 1792 and president of the Royal Academy (1820-1830). Queen Charlotte is one of his finest portraits.

Thomas Gainsborough, one of the greatest representatives of the English school, was a portraitist and a landscape painter. His portraits are painted in clear tones. Blue and green are his favourite colours. One of the most famous works is the Portrait of the Duchess of Beaufort. He managed to create a true impression of the impressions. Gainsborough greatly influenced the English school of landscape masters. He was one of the first English artists to paint his native land (Sunset. The Bridge and others). He was the first English artist to paint his native countryside so sincerely. His works contain much poetry and music. He is sometimes considered the forerunner of the impressionists.

John Constable, an English landscape painter, painted many well-known works (A Cottage in a Cornfield, The Loch). He is the first landscape painter who considered that every painter should make his sketches directly from nature working in the open air. His technique and colouring are very close to the painting. Constable ignored the rules established by Reynolds. He insisted that art should be based on observation of nature and feeling. He was the herald of romanticism. But the realistic qualities of his art are sensed very strongly.


I prefer landscape to other genre. Landscape art is a term that covers the depiction of natural scenery such as mountains, valleys, trees, rivers, and forests, and especially art where the main subject is a wide view, with its elements arranged into a coherent composition. In other works landscape backgrounds for figures can still form an important part of the work. Sky is almost always included in the view, and weather is often an element of the composition. Detailed landscapes as a distinct subject are not found in all artistic traditions, and develop when there is already a sophisticated tradition of representing other subjects. The two main traditions spring from Western painting and Chinese art, going back well over a thousand years in both cases. Landscape photography has been very important since the 19th century, and is covered by its own article. The word ‘landscape’ is from the Dutch, landscape originally meant a patch of cultivated ground, and then an image. The word entered the English language at the start of the 17th century, purely as a term for works of art; it was not used to describe real vistas before 1725. If the primary purpose of a picture is to depict an actual, specific place, especially including buildings prominently, it is called a topographical view. Such views, extremely common as prints, arc often seen as inferior to fine art landscapes, although the distinction is not always meaningful.


Ivan Konstantinovich Aivazovskyi (1817-1900) was born in the family of a merchant of Armenian origin in the town of Feodosiy, Crimea. His parents were under strained circumstances and he spent his childhood in poverty. With the help of people who had noticed the talented youth, he entered the Simpheropol gymnasium, and then the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts, where he took the landscape painting course and was especially interested in marine landscapes. In the autumn of 1836 Aivazovskyi presented 5 marine pictures to the Academic exhibition, which were highly appreciated. In 1837, Aivazovskyi received the Major Gold Medal for Calm in the Gulf of Finland (1836) and The Great Roads at Kroonslad (1836), which allowed him to go on a long study trip abroad. However the artist first went to the Crimea to perfect himself in his chosen genre by painting the sea and views of Crimean coastal towns. During the period of 1840-1844 Aivazovskyi, as a pensioner of the Academy of Arts, spent time in Italy, traveled to Germany, France, Spain, and Holland. He worked much and had many exhibitions, meeting everywhere with success. He painted a lot of marine landscapes, which became very popular in Italy: ‘The Bay of Naples by Moonlight’ (1842), ‘Seashore. Calm’ (1843), ‘Malta. Valetto Harbour’ (1844). To the best canvases belong ‘Bay of Naples in the moonlit night’ (1842), ‘The Sea’ (1853), ‘Storm in the North Sea’ (1865), ‘Sunny Day’ (1884), ‘Among the Waves’ (1898) and other.

Ilya Efimovich Repin was born in 1844 in a small Ukrainian town of Chuguev, Kharkiv Province, in a family of a military settler. As a young boy, he received his first lessons in art in 1858, when he worked for a talented icon painter I.M. Bunakov. At the age of 19, he entered St. Petersburg Academy of Arts. His arrival to the capital coincides with the important event in the artistic life of the 60’s, the so called ‘Riot of the Fourteen’. In 1870, Repin made his first sketches for ‘Barge Haulers on the Volga’, while being on a boat trip. When the work was finished in 1873, it immediately won recognition. For his diploma work, ‘Raising of Jauris’ Daughter’ (1871), Repin was award the Major Gold Medal and received a scholarship for studies abroad. In 1873 Repin went abroad. For several months he had been travelling around Italy and then settled to work in Paris up until 1876. During these 10-12 years Repin created majority of his famous paintings. In 1877, he started painting a religious procession (Krestniy Khod), Krestniy Khod in Kursk Gubernia (1880-1883). The composition was based on the dramatic effect of different attitude of the participants of the procession to the wonder-working icon carried at the head of the procession. There were two different versions of the picture. The second one, completed in 1883, became the most popular. At first glance the spectator discovers in the crowd the abundance of social types and human characters.