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Saturday, October 11, 2014

The Schism, parts 3735 - 3738

 3735. These modern Russian painters found that there was no market for even their best works, because only French and Italian works were in demand at that time. Rather than suffer and starve in their attics they found it worthwhile to paint little paintings in the style of Watteau or even Caravaggio, and then sell them unsigned, to antique stores for a small sum.


 3736. Sculptors were in the same difficulty as the painters. The few sculptors of Moscow and Saint Petersburg did not have the resources to cast large works in bronze, and so they restricted themselves to making small plaster and wax models in the hopes that some collector would condescend to finance an edition of large bronze castings.


 3737.  These small works could often be found in antique stores. Some of then even had contemporary signatures on the bases because the artists hoped to be recognized and encouraged. But the older sculptors, who had long age given up all hope of finding patronage, gave themselves up to doing works, “In the style of,” as they say.



3738. The most common of the pieces of sculpture to be found in the drawing rooms and entry halls of Patrician homes consisted of plaster casts painted a dark greenish brown in imitation of the patina of bronze. From a distance those works could pass for the genuine article, but close up they always displayed some little crack or chip announcing that the object was fabricated of plaster of Paris.

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