• Copy of the Plafond. Pegasus

    Technique:
    watercolour over etched outline with light brown tone
    Dimensions:
    50,2х50 cm

Copy of the Plafond. Pegasus

Title:

Copy of the Plafond. Pegasus

Material:

Technique:

watercolour over etched outline with light brown tone

Dimensions:

50,2х50 cm

Inventory Number:

ОР-8780

Comment:

The state of preservation of the paintings copied by Brenna and Smuglewicz was even at that time so poor that artists had to use their own imagination to replace the missing links and adjust the format. A square was one of the preferred forms of engraved reproductions of ancient ceilings which should not be considered as exact copies. The centre of the square represented mythological heroes, for example, Hercules fight with the Nemean Lion (see illustration on page 38). The sheet in question depicts Pegas surrounded by the arabesques representing a fan in the form of a bat’s wing in the corners. To the left and right, placed in the trapezoidal sections, are scenes of sacrificial offering inspired by Roman reliefs. Above and below, are winged dancing geniuses with a garland on both sides of a candelabrum as well as the attributes for sacrifice offerings from the famous Capitoline relief. The outside perimeter is composed of squares and rectangles depicting a hyena, a lion, a leopard, a wolf and some allegorical figures who are seated facing the beasts. Enclosed in the corner medallions are herons with snakes in their beaks. The coloured reproductions were published in three stages and were not album bound. They are kept in the collections as selections of separate sheets. These copies and interpretations of wall paintings in Hadrian’s Villa, Golden House of Nero, Baths of Libya and Villa Madama could have found their way into Russia in a variety of ways. Thus, for example, the series which is currently held in the collection of the Pavlovsk State Museum Preserve could have been acquired during the period when Count and Countess Severny travelled through Europe - this pseudonym disguised the identity of the future Emperor Paul and his spouse Maria Feodorovna. Some of the items bear an inscription on the back ‘From the Cabinet of Count A.S. Stroganov’. Comments by Valery Shevchenko

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