Bouquet for Madonna
Deserved recognition M.I. Scotty brought canvases of historical content. Nowadays, the Prince of Pozharsky and Minin painting (1850, Nizhny Novgorod State Art Museum) has gained special fame. Scotty’s works are kept in the Tretyakov Gallery and the Russian Museum, in Russian museum collections (Petrozavodsk, Irkutsk) and from private owners. Why is the artist forgotten? In Soviet times, knowledge of masters with a foreign name was not welcome. In addition, a significant part of the artistic heritage of Scotty are icons for Orthodox churches, many of which were destroyed. The study of religious painting of the XIX century was also under the unofficial ban. For a number of years the author of these lines has been preparing the first monograph on M.I. Scotty, and the impetus for this was, as often happened in museum practice, a lucky break.
In the summer of 2008 in London at the regular auction of Russian art at Sotheby’s auction house a serious struggle broke out for the acquisition of a small painting by Mikhail Scotty. The organizers called the canvas traditionally – “Italian scene.” It seemed to me, who was present at the auction as a consultant, that there were a lot of pictures with images of Italian scenes, so you need to somehow “decipher” what is happening. A poetic name came to mind – “Bouquet for the Madonna”. Indeed, the artist depicted a touching scene. A lively boy helps his mother and sister to “plant” fresh flowers to the image of the Madonna on one of the Florentine streets. Scotty accurately, with a slight sense of humor, noticed the characters of the characters: the young Italian reverently gazes at the face of Mary, the boy with open mouth wonders if the Fratello, risky balancing on a stone column, falls or keeps. In Italy, as you know, there is a special cult of the Mother of God. Her image is found everywhere: in the niches of the city gates, on the walls of houses, in the countryside, even in the trees. The simplicity of the plot of the small picture, the images of naive Italians dressed in bright costumes, the carelessness of the children depicted – all this rightly attracted the attention of potential buyers at a London auction. What is known about the author of the canvas?
“Mikhail Ivanovich Scotty was a Roman,” recalled his colleague on teaching at the Moscow School of Painting and Sculpture (MUZHV) N.V. Berg, – but he found himself in Russia quite early and became completely Russian in language and some skills. However, he spoke well in Italian. In essence, he was still Italian, not Russian. He was … a handsome slender guy of high stature with good techniques, somewhat self-contained. ” In fact, MI Scotty was a native of St. Petersburg. In the Catholic Church of St. Catherine, the Great Martyr and Virgin of the “Northern Capital,” the record remains: “Thousand and eight hundred and fourteenth year of October of the twentieth day I am of the Jesuit Order, priest Ignatius Petroboni baptized the baby by the name of Michael Angel Peter Karl, born on the seventeenth day of the same month, son of Mr. John The Baptist Scotty and Mrs. Aloysia Tardi, the legitimate spouses “5. Until the end of his days, the artist remained an adherent of the Catholic faith.
Italian decorator John (Ivan) Scotty arrived in Russia at the end of Catherine’s reign. In St. Petersburg, he successfully collaborated with the best architects of the era – K.I. Rossi, J. Toma de Thomon, A.N. Voronikhin. Favorable orders provided the painter-decorator family with a comfortable stay. From early childhood, “Angel Mishka” grew up in a joyful and creative artistic atmosphere. However, the sudden death of his father and then his mother immediately changed his life. Having taken Russian citizenship in 1831, Mikhail was forced to take care of himself and his younger brother. Great assistance was provided by the professor of the historical class of the Imperial Academy of Arts (IAH), A.E. Egorov, in whose house Scotty lived for a long time.
Study M.I. Scotty at the Academy was quite successful, but he did not receive a gold medal and did not become an academic pensioner. And yet, Scotty’s dream of visiting the homeland of her ancestors and practicing art skills came true. In 1838, he was financed by the rich patron I.D. Shepeleva went to Italy.
Caught in the “joyful captivity” of Italian life, young Scotty, full of strength and energy, eagerly studied the country, its nature, ancient architecture. Like his friend, architect Nikolai Leontyevich Benois, the artist “retained the striking distinct memory of those happy years when he and his friends enjoyed the beauty of the land of blessedness and enthusiastically studied the creations of human genius scattered around him, dreaming of great things that he also hoped to accomplish on return home “6. Indeed, for five years the artist traveled to Venice, Florence, Naples, met with outstanding masters from different countries who had acquired in Rome. At first, Scotty was even a bit shy. “It’s scary here — there are so many artists in their field,” he wrote ID. Shepeleva – so strictly assessed art. I can say that I bore all of Italy, I saw it, except for Sicily. Your pictures