Miegas, mitai ir alegorijos paveiksle "Amūras" iš Lietuvos nacionalinio dailės muziejaus kolekcijos

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Mokslo publikacijos / Scientific publications
Document Type:
Straipsnis / Article
Lietuvių kalba / Lithuanian
Miegas, mitai ir alegorijos paveiksle "Amūras" iš Lietuvos nacionalinio dailės muziejaus kolekcijos
Alternative Title:
Sleep, myths and allegories in the painting Amor from the collection of the Lithuanian National Museum of Art
In the Journal:
Acta Academiae Artium Vilnensis [AAAV]. 2022, t. 106, p. 45-77. Vizijos, legendos ir sapnai mene = Visions, legends and dreams in art
Dailė / Art; Ikonografija / Iconography; Mitologija / Mythology; Muziejai / Museums; Kultūros paveldas / Cultural heritage.
Summary / Abstract:

LTStraipsnio objektas – tai Lietuvos nacionalinio dailės muziejaus kolekcijoje saugomas nuotaikingas kamerinis miegančio meilės dievaičio atvaizdas, sukurtas prancūzų dailininko François Lemoyne’o (1688–1737) pagal 1729 m. nutapytą drobę. Specifinei Lemoyne’o kūrinio kartotės ikonografijai pažinti pasitelkiama miegančio Amūro įvaizdžio ištakų, simbolikos ir meninių interpretacijų istorija, kurioje svarbų pėdsaką paliko ir garsiausi dailės pasaulio vardai. Subtiliai antikinės mitologijos ir moralinės alegorijos tradicijas jungianti įmigusio Amūro ikonografija atskleidžia, kad slėpininga miego, sapnų erdvė dailės kūrinyje gali tapti vaizdinga ir paveikia ne ką mažiau paslaptingo ir sudėtingo žmogaus jausmų pasaulio metafora. Reikšminiai žodžiai: Lietuvos nacionalinis dailės muziejus, Vakarų Europos dailė, antikinė mitologija, Amūras, François Lemoyne’as, miego ikonografija. [Iš leidinio]

ENEnveloped in mystery and provoking imagination, the world of sleep and dreams has been a rich source of inspiration for artists since the earliest times. The cornerstones of the secular iconography of sleep in Western art were laid by classical Greek and Roman culture. In the course of centuries, quite a few adventures of gods, goddesses and heroes described in classical myths and other works of literature of that time inspired many artworks interpreting the mythological heritage, which were in some way related to rest or dreams. There is an example of such work in Lithuania as well – the collection of the Lithuanian National Museum of Art (hereinafter referred to as LNMA) boasts an image of the sleeping mythical god of love Amor, created by an unknown artist after the 1729 painting by the French painter François Lemoyne (1688–1737) possibly in the 18th century or the first half of the 19th century, and the search for the history and meaning of the iconography of this work is the main subject of this article. Amor (vel Cupid vel Eros) is mostly seen in artworks as an adorable naughty winged boy armed with his traditional attributes – a bow and arrows. However, since the times of classical antiquity, this vivacious god of contradictory character acting in various plots was often represented in deep sleep. In the art world of the Early Modern Period, it was Michelangelo (1475–1564) and Caravaggio (1571–1610) who adopted this iconographical variation from the surviving classical examples and popularized it in their sculptures and paintings. The works created by these artists and their followers, along with their classical prototypes, encouraged various interpretations of the meanings of the motif. The sleeping Amor was associated both with the direct mythological personification of the ancient Greek god of sleep Hypnos, and with eternal sleep – the so-called memento mori.The motifs of death and resurrection that were prominent in this iconography influenced religious art as well – in works by late Renaissance and Baroque artists, the sleeping winged child morphed into the Infant Jesus of the Passion lying on the cross and symbolizing the allegory of Christ’s suffering. However, it would seem that both Caravaggio and Michelangelo, as well as later artists who represented the theme of the sleeping Amor in the 16th–19th century (the visualisation of this iconographic motif reached its peak in the 16th–17th century), Lemoyne and the creator of LNMA’s Amor among them, followed another interpretational line of iconography, which reflected the realm of the heart and passionate feelings rather than that of death or religion. Already Renaissance humanists often symbolically associated sleep and dreams with the expression of platonic love. It was this approach which appeared in the cultural context of that time that most likely helped to link the image of the sleeping god of love to the concepts of abstention, chastity and loyalty. In other words, it is not until the naughty Amor shooting the arrows of love and plotting intrigues of the heart sinks into the kingdom of sleep that we can feel completely immune to an onslaught of unexpected feelings. Not less eloquent than the condition of sleep in the iconography of this plot is the position of the god’s “dangerous” attributes – a bow and a quiver with arrows. In quite several works, Amor’s bow or its string is broken, and the arrows with the quiver are thrown away or pushed aside. Having tossed his bow next to him and having placed the quiver under his head, the hero of the LNMA’s painting is sleeping as well – sleep overcame his eagerness to hunt for hearts. Incidentally, in art this mischievous child was “tamed” by other means as well.The image of Venus tying or even trimming his wings, or Amor with his hands tied are equally popular iconographic motifs. Going back to the work inspired by François Lemoyne in the LNMA’s collection, it is difficult to say how the painting was perceived by its owners whose names did not survive. Perhaps they interpreted Amor as a moral, philosophical-allegorical commentary and an indirect criticism of human passions, or perhaps it only served as a decorative and playful aesthetical element enlivening the interior. However, not less important is the relation of the painting with today’s viewer. It is through early artworks on the themes of classical mythology held in Lithuania’s memory institutions that we can revisit the mythological plots that once had much greater significance in daily cultural circulation and today are becoming more difficult to decipher. LNMA’s Amor is precisely this kind of informative and intriguing picture, harmoniously fitting in the rich context of the iconography of the sleeping god of love, which has deep roots in early European art and is represented in the works by prominent artists. Keywords: Lithuanian National Museum of Art, Western European art, classical mythology, Amor, François Lemoyne, iconography of sleep. [From the publication]

Related Publications:
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  • Įnirtingas miegas : vaizduotė ir fenomenologija / Kristupas Sabolius. Vilnius : Vilniaus universitetas, 2012. 279 p.
  • Pasaulio sapnas : mistinės kosmogonijos užuominos lietuvių tautosakoje / Dainius Razauskas. Tautosakos darbai 2012, 44, p. 81-97.
2022-12-07 19:10:23
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