Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Vladimir and Rogneda

Anton Losenko, Vladimir and Rogneda

The tale behind the painting: Prince Vladimir, having conquered Novgorod, asked for Princess Rogneda's hand in marriage, but she refused. Enraged, he conquered her city, killed her family, and married her by force.

Anton Losenko painted the scene as an assignment given to students of the Imperial Academy of Arts, in 1769. He was awarded the position of adjunct professor for this painting.

Personally, I find the sceen a little over-acted, but as I understand it, the prince is supposed to be having a moment of realization where he recognizes the horror he has caused and feels some true, deep emotion for Rogneda. I'm not really buying the idea of Vladimir suddenly realizing he's done wrong, but I do think it's a pretty painting anyway. (I suspect the color balance may be a little off, though; often it's hard for photographs to adequately capture the true colors of the originals.)

Now that I think of it, this seems like the kind of painting that's ripe for captioning.

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