Главная страница «Первого сентября»Главная страница журнала «Английский язык»Содержание №10/2008

Развитие межпредметных связей: Изучение английского языка и мировой художественной культуры в 10-11-х классах

Curriculum Links of the Language Studies with Other Subjects

This material aims to develop the students’ knowledge of English and Art offering a broader educational approach to teaching the language.

Theme 14


Neoclassicism is the name given to movements in the visual arts, literature, theatre, music, and architecture. These movements were in effect at various times between the 18th and the 20th centuries.
What any “neo”-classicism depends on most fundamentally is a consensus about a body of work that has achieved canonic status. These are the “classics.” Ideally — and neoclassicism is essentially an art of an ideal — an artist, well-schooled and familiar with the canon, does not repeat it in lifeless reproductions, but synthesizes the tradition anew in each work.
In the visual arts the European movement called “neoclassicism” began after ca 1765, as a reaction against both the surviving Baroque and Rococo styles, and as a desire to return to the “purity” of the arts of Rome, of Ancient Greek arts and, to a lesser extent, 16th century Renaissance Classicism.
Contrasting with the Baroque and the Rococo, Neo-classical paintings are devoid (лишены) of pastel colors and haziness; instead, they have sharp colors with Chiaroscuro (светотень). In the case of Neo-classicism in France, a prime example is Jacques Louis David whose paintings often use Greek elements to extoll (превозносить) the French Revolution’s virtues (one of these virtues – state before family).
There is an anti-Rococo strain (стиль анти-рококо) that can be detected in some European architecture of the earlier 18th century, most vividly represented in the Palladian architecture of Georgian Britain and Ireland, but also recognizable in a classicizing vein of architecture in Berlin. It is a robust (прочная) architecture academically selective of “the best” Roman models.
Neoclassicism first gained influence in England and France, through a generation of French art students trained in Rome and influenced by the writings of Johann Joachim Winckelmann, and it was quickly adopted by progressive circles in Sweden.

G.B. Piranesi’s design
for a vase on stand, Rome ca 1780

The second neoclassic wave is associated with the height of the Napoleonic Empire. In France, the first phase of neoclassicism is expressed in the “Louis XVI style”, the second phase in the styles we call “Directoire” or “Empire.” Italy clung to Rococo until the Napoleonic regimes brought the new archeaological classicism, which was embraced (был принят) as a political statement by young, progressive, urban Italians with republican leanings.
The high tide of neoclassicism in painting is exemplified in early paintings by Jacques-Louis David and Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres’ entire career. David’s Oath of the Horatii was painted in Rome and made a splash (произвела сенсацию) at the Paris Salon of 1784. Its central perspective is perpendicular to the picture plane, made more emphatic by the dim arcade behind, against which the heroic figures are disposed as in a frieze, with a hint of the artificial lighting and staging of opera, and the classical coloring of Nicholas Poussin. In sculpture, the most familiar representatives are the Italian Antonio Canova, the Englishman John Flaxman and the Dane Bertel Thorvaldsen.

David’s Oath of the Horatii (1784)

In the decorative arts, neoclassicism is exemplified in Empire furniture (мебель в стиле ампир) made in Paris, London, New York, Berlin; in Biedermeier furniture made in Austria; in Karl Friedrich Schinkel’s museums in Berlin, Sir John Soane’s Bank of England in London and the Сapitol in Washington, DC; and in Wedgwood’s bas-reliefs and “black basaltes” vases. The Scots architect Charles Cameron created palatial Italianate interiors (роскошные итальянские интерьеры) for Catherine the Great in St. Petersburg; the style was international.
Neoclassicism made a discovery of the genuine classic interior, inspired by the rediscoveries at Pompeii and Herculaneum, which had started in the late 1740s, but only achieved a wide audience in the 1760s. The antiquities of Herculaneum showed that even the most classicizing interiors of the Baroque, or the most “Roman” rooms of William Kent were based on basilica and temple exterior architecture, turned outside in: window frames (оконные рамы) turned into gilded mirrors, fireplaces topped with temple fronts (камины, отделанные как фасады храма), now all looking quite absurd. The new interiors sought to recreate an authentically Roman and genuinely interior vocabulary, employing flatter, lighter motifs, sculpted in low frieze-like relief, isolated medallions or vases, suspended on swags (гирлянды) of laurel or ribbon, with slender arabesques against backgrounds, perhaps, of “Pompeiian red” or stone colors.

At the Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh,
James Playfair employs a Greek Doric octastyle portico
(дорический портик с восемью колоннами)

Neoclassicism continued to be a major force in academic art through the 19th century and beyond – a constant antithesis to Romanticism or Gothic revivals – although from the late 19th century on it had often been considered anti-modern, or even reactionary, in influential critical circles. By the mid-19th century, several European cities – notably St. Petersburg and Munich – were transformed into veritable museums of Neoclassical architecture.
In American architecture, neoclassicism was an expression of the American Renaissance movement, ca 1890 – 1917; its last manifestation was in Beaux-Arts architecture, and its very last, large public projects were the Lincoln Memorial (highly criticised at the time), the National Gallery in Washington, D.C., and the American Museum of Natural History’s Roosevelt Memorial building.

Palladian architecture, Palladianism (палладианство – направление в архитектуре) is a European style of architecture derived from the designs of the Italian architect Andrea Palladio (1508–1580). The term “Palladian” normally refers to buildings in a style inspired by Palladio’s own work; what is recognised as Palladian architecture today is an evolution of Palladio’s original concepts. This evolution of Palladianism as a style began in the 17th century and continued to develop until the end of the 18th century.

Palladian Revival (возрождение палладианства)

The Horatii (Горации – три юноши-близнеца из древнеримского патрицианского рода) were a set of male triplets from Rome. During a war between Rome and Alba Longa it was agreed that settlement of the war would depend on the outcome of a battle (от исхода битвы) between the Horatii and the Curiatii. The Curiatii (Куриации) were a set of male triplets who were from Alba Longa and of the same age as the Horatii.
In architecture the frieze (фриз) is the wide central section part of an entablature (часть антаблемента) and may be plain or – in the Ionic or Corinthian order – decorated with bas-reliefs. In an astylar wall (стена без колонн и пилястр) it lies upon the architrave (‘main beam’ – архитрав, главная балка, перекладина) and is capped by the moldings of the cornice (венчается карнизом).

Frieze of the Tower of the Winds

Empire silhouette dress
(платье в стиле ампир)

The Empire Style (стиль ампир), sometimes considered as the second phase of Neoclassicism, with its early phase called Directoire (Директория), is an early 19th century style of architecture and furniture design that takes its name and originates from Napoleon’s rule of France, known as the First French Empire, when such grandiose Neoclassical structures as the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, Vendome Column, and La Madeleine were built in Paris to emulate the famous edifices of Imperial Rome. In the wake of Napoleon’s downfall, the style was adopted in many other countries of Europe, particularly in Imperial Russia.

A ceiling medallion (потолочное лепное украшение в виде медальона)

Medallion (in architecture) – an oval or circular design used in decoration.

Arabesque (in architecture) – a decoration originally used in Islamic art, an elaborate application of repeating geometric forms or the forms of plants and animals.

An arabesque frame (рамка с орнаментом арабеск)

Gilding (золочение, покрытие позолотой) is the art of spreading gold, either by mechanical or by chemical means, over the surface of a body for the purpose of ornament.
The United States Capitol (Капитолий) is the US capitol building, that serves as home for Congress, the legislative branch of the United States federal government. It is located in Washington, D.C., on top of Capitol Hill at the east end of the National Mall. Although not in the geographic center of the District of Columbia, the Capitol is the focus by which the quadrants of the district are divided.
The building, designed by Dr. William Thornton, is marked by its central dome above a rotunda and two wings, one for each chamber of Congress: the north wing is the Senate chamber and the south wing is the House of Representatives chamber. Above these chambers are galleries where people can watch the Senate and House of Representatives. It is an example of the Neoclassical architecture style.

The United States Capitol

ACTIVITY A. Complete the text using the words in bold. Change the form of the words according to the context.

The Lincoln Memorial

The Lincoln memorial is a monument ________ the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. ________ construction started in 1914. The design by the New York _________ Henry Bacon was based on a Greek temple with 36 Doric columns. Each column ________ one state of the USA at the time of ________ death. When the memorial was completed in May 1922, the USA had __________ with 12 more states, so the __________ of the 48 states were carved on the outside of the memorial’s walls. After the __________ of Alaska and Hawaii, a plaque was __________ with the names of the new states.
Inside the marble temple there ______ a large sculpture of Abraham Lincoln _________ in a chair. The sculpture was designed by Daniel Chester French. The _________ wall contains an inscription of Lincoln’s second inaugural speech, the southern wall ______ the Gettysburg address _________. Above the inscription is a mural depicting the angel of _______ freeing a slave.

















Key: honoring, Its, architect, represents, Lincoln’s, expanded, names, admission, added, is, seated, northern, has, inscribed, truth

The Lincoln Memorial

ACTIVITY B. Read the article and find underlined English equivalents of the following words and expressions:
МГУ; Академия архитектуры СССР; свадебный пирог; сверху донизу; в значительной мере подчинил архитекторов государственному контролю; Сталинский ампир; предназначенная; сверкающая красно-белым мрамором; отличать; отражать; наружное убранство; вытереть написанное на грифельной доске; напоминать; прославлять коммунизм; московское барокко; сталинские высотки; Дворец Советов; кремлевские башни; жилой дом; набережная; МИД; окна от пола до потолка; расположенная ярусами конструкция; шпили; люстры.

Stalinist Architecture, Stalin’s Empire style or Socialist Classicism are the terms typically applied to the years between 1933 (the date of the final competition to design the Palace of the Soviets) and 1955 (when the Soviet Academy of Architecture was abolished).

Just like any other form of art in Joseph Stalin’s Soviet Union, architecture was destined to serve the purpose of glorifying communism as the ideal social order. It was Stalin’s goal to “wipe clean the slate of the past...and rebuild the world from top to bottom.” To do this, Stalin subjected architects to a considerable amount of state control. In 1933, the Soviet Academy of Architecture was founded; this marked the “official” beginning of the time of Stalinist Architecture.

Moscow State University,
a prime example of Stalinist style. For years, the university tower was the tallest building in Europe.

There are seven tall buildings in Moscow which were built in the 1950s: the so-called “Stalin’s Skyscrapers” or “Seven Sisters”: Moscow State University, block of flats on Kotelnicheskaya embankment, block of flats on Krasnaya Presnya, Hotel “Leningradskaya”, Hotel “Ukraina”, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Transport.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

No. 1 Kudrinskaya Square was one of seven neoclassic towers that were built in the early 1950s. It is resplendent with red and white inlaid marble, floor-to-ceiling windows, luminescent chandeliers and mighty central columns.

According to the book “Architecture of the Stalin Era,” by Alexei Tarkhanov and Sergei Kavtaradze, the architects settled on a terrace-like or tiered construction, often referred to as a “wedding-cake style”, to give each building a sense of “upward surge” toward a central tower.
The spires on the buildings were made of metalized glass in order to reflect the sunlight. One political reason for adding the spires (which were not in the original architects’ plans) was to distinguish the towers from American skyscrapers of the 1930s. According to Tarkhanov and Kavtaradze, the design of the buildings and the external decoration recall the Kremlin towers and Muscovite baroque, and the ornate exteriors are drawn from Gothic cathedrals.

Stalin’s Empire style – сталинский ампир; the Palace of the Soviets – Дворец Советов; the Soviet Academy of Architecture – Академия архитектуры СССР; destined – предназначенная; glorifying communism – прославлять коммунизм; to wipe the slate – стереть написанное на грифельной доске; from top to bottom – сверху донизу; subjected architects to a considerable amount of state control – в значительной мере подчинил архитекторов государственному контролю; Stalin’s Skyscrapers – сталинские высотки; Moscow State University – МГУ; block of flats – жилой дом; embankment – набережная; Ministry of Foreign Affairs – МИД; resplendent with red and white marble – сверкающая красно-белым мрамором; floor-to-ceiling windows – окна от пола до потолка; chandeliers – люстры; tiered construction – расположенная ярусами конструкция; wedding-cake – свадебный пирог; spires – шпили; to reflect – отражать; distinguish – отличать; external decoration – наружное убранство; recall – напоминать; the Kremlin towers – кремлевские башни; Muscovite baroque – московское барокко.

To make any idea sound stronger and more emphatic, we can use a negative word at the beginning of the sentence and inversion (the word order of a question). We usually use these complex sentences in formal written English:

(negative word + inversion)
She has never seen anything like this. Never has she seen anything like this.
His works have hardly ever served the purpose of glorifying communism. Seldom have his works served the purpose of glorifying communism.
These decorations are hardly ever used in Islamic art. Rarely are these decorations used in Islamic art.
Classic interiors were introduced after Pompeii and Herculaneum had been discovered. No sooner had Pompeii and Herculaneum been discovered than classic interiors were introduced.
New interiors are not only classical but they are based on temple exterior architecture as well. Not only are new interiors classical but they are based on temple exterior architecture as well.
They couldn’t associate this work with the Napoleonic Empire either. Neither could they associate this work with the Napoleonic Empire.

ACTIVITY C. Rewrite the sentences to make them more emphatic and more formal.

1. They will never adopt this style in Russia.
Never ____________________________________.
2. Republican ideas do hardly ever appear in this country.
Seldom ___________________________________.
3. American skyscrapers hardly ever remind one of Stalin’s skyscrapers.
Rarely ____________________________________.
4. He doesn’t like Stalin Empire and he has never approved of the “wedding-cake style”.
He doesn’t like Stalin Empire and neither ___________________________________.
5. David brought his picture to Paris after he had painted it in Rome.
No sooner _____________________________________________________________.
6. We visited the Capitol and watched the House of Representatives at work.
Not only _______________________________________________________.
7. I couldn’t see what was on the top of the spire either.
Neither ___________________________________.
8. Progressive Italians didn’t only accept neoclassicism, they embraced it as a political statement as well.
Not only _________________________________________________________________.
9. She has hardly ever designed furniture.
Never ___________________________________.
10. Modern architects hardly ever use arabesque to decorate blocks of flats.
Rarely ______________________________________________________.

1. Never will they adopt this style in Russia.
2. Seldom do republican ideas appear in this country.
3. Rarely do American skyscrapers remind one of Stalin’s skyscrapers.
4. He doesn’t like Stalin’s Empire and neither has he approved of “wedding-cake” style.
5. No sooner had David painted his picture in Rome than he brought it to Paris.
6. Not only did we visit the Capitol but we watched the House of Representatives at work.
7. Neither could I see what was on the top of the spire.
8. Not only did progressive Italians accept neoclassicism but they embraced it as a political statement as well.
9. Never has she designed furniture.
10. Rarely do modern architects use arabesque to decorate blocks of flats.

Submitted by Irina Ishkhneli ,
School No. 1738, Moscow