Full Moon

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Arina Gordienko

Russian/British 21st Century Realist

Full Moon

(Not For Nothing I Am Versed in the Most Secret Magic Arts)


91.4 x 121.9 cms | 36 x 48 ins
Oil on Belgian linen

This painting is a part of ‘Loengrin’ exhibition dedicated to opera by Richard Wagner at the MEAM · European Museum of Modern Art in Barcelona, in collaboration with The Wagner Club and Katharina Wagner, great-granddaughter of the composer. This contest has been organized by MEAM and Foundation of Arts aiming to bring together various arts: music, theater, and painting. The theme of the contest was exclusively that of the Lohengrin opera, both the character created by Richard Wagner.

This portrait is my version of Ortrud – a personage of the opera ‘Lohengrin’. In the title is a direct quote from Ortrud’s words in Act II - ‘Not for nothing am I versed in the most secret magic arts’. Below is the story behind this portrait.

I used to study classical music at Music School for 7 years and at Music College as a chorus conductor. And so classical music and opera have always been a big part and passion of my life alongside with painting, and Richard Wagner’s opera ‘Lohengrin’ is one of my favourites. Ortrud has always fascinated me as a contradictive character, because ‘officially’ she is a negative personage but her bright personality and strong determination for revenge radiates a strangely attractive ‘dark’ charm. So my choice for the contest was obvious - it must have been Ortrud. I was happy to take a chance and show my perception of this character – not only her strength and ruthless yet brave determination to revenge and win but also her sharp mind complementing her bewitching ‘fatal’ beauty, and her softer hidden ‘magical’ side of a woman who decided, at some mysterious point of her life, to become a witch and to armour herself with powerful skills in the darkest and most secret magic arts. I wanted to saturate this portrait with that riddle – a secret of Ortrud that appeals to many people, despite of her negative personage role.

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