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Block I Illinois Library Illinois Open Publishing Network

Articles

Vol. 11 (2023)

Andrei Matveev: Painting Allegory from Antwerp to Russia

DOI:
https://doi.org/10.21900/j.vivliofika.v11.1420
Published
2024-06-08

Abstract

In 1725, artist Andrei Matveev sent his Allegory of Painting to Catherine I from Antwerp, where Peter the Great had sent him to study. Matveev’s Allegory remains the earliest known easel painting on an allegorical subject by a Russian painter. This article examines the circumstances surrounding the painting’s creation in Antwerp and explores its iconography and sources. It then considers the place of Matveev’s work amid the allegorical imagery produced in early eighteenth-century Russia. This study offers a possible new interpretation of the painting and sheds light on the role Antwerp and its artistic legacy played in fostering Russia’s emerging artistic culture.

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