The History of Russian Empire’s Most Expensive Painting

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Abstract
The article describes the story of painting Nana (1881) by Marcel Suchorowsky known as the most expensive painting sold by a painter in the Russian Empire. But the art piece differs a lot from the general line of the local art market situation, which was defined by special institutions, such as the Imperial Academy of Arts in Saint Petersburg. The main aspects are taken into consideration, such as: critical analysis of the painting, the story of the plot, which refers to Émile Zola’s novel Nana, the painter’s individual and innovative exposition strategy, etc. The history of Nana and its special exhibitions in Europe and the USA through the period of 1981–2012 are described. Reports in the USA periodics serve as a special source of analysis, as long as they allow tracing Nana’s movements and public interest. It was exhibited in the “panorama” style using special lightning and additional objects to imitate the three-dimension space and thus became a popular entertainment. Painting Nana is a very interesting cultural phenomenon as long as it obtained notorious glory due to its provocative plot and an excellent academic technique. It is not only the surprising price, but public reaction that is the most important.
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Archival date: 2019-11-27
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2019-11-27

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