The court of King Solomon by Nicholas Ge

The court of King Solomon by Nicholas Ge

In 1850, Nikolai Ge entered the Academy of Arts, finally choosing between mathematics and art, to which he equally had outstanding talents. It should be noted that the painter came to the academy at a very uncomfortable moment – the training was inconsistent and undemanding. The policy of the institution drove the young artists into strict frames, offering classical subjects and samples. Such imitation invariably destroyed creative individuality.

Nicholas Ge decided at once – if so to imitate, then the best artists. One of his authorities was Karl Bryullov – a painter, who first glorified Russian painting throughout Europe. The picture “The court of King Solomon” – a vivid example of the work “under Briullov.”

The plot line of the canvas is very well known – this biblical parable, telling how two women came to share the baby. Everyone argued that it was she who was a real mother, and then the wise Solomon began to make his own judgment: let the child be cut into two parts, and each will be given equal shares. The first woman stumbled, let the other take the baby, if only he was not ruined, and the second agreed with the king’s decision. So it became clear who is the true mother of the child, she was given it.

The whole picture is written in bright, colorful style. Composition, gestures, facial expressions, “talking” figures – in every element of the work, strict adherence to the classical canons is read. In the picture there are many bright contrasting colors that allow you to build coloristic harmony – the white attire of the king, the blue dress of the second woman, which echoes with the pillow under Solomon’s feet. The most emotional heroes of the picture are two babies – one dead, and the other alive, over which the wise king himself conducted his provocative trial.

The culmination of the canvas is a real mother in white robes and a red cloak with her arms folded, which agrees to give her child another just to save his life.

Nikolai Ge was called a “brunette student”, while in the nickname a compliment was read, rather than a grin. However, very soon, Ge will depart from imitation to anyone, having found his author’s style and unique style, while preserving respect and respect for Karl Bryullov for life.

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