painting series by Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis

Stellar Sonata
Zvaigzdziu sonata.Allegro.jpg

Stellar sonata. Allegro

ArtistMikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis
Mediumoil on canvas
Dimensions72.2 cm × 61.4 cm (28.4 in × 24.2 in)
LocationM. K. Čiurlionis National Museum of Art

Stellar sonata. Andante– part two of planned four-painting cycleŽvaigždžių sonata

SONATA VIare two paintings,Stellar sonata. AllegroandStellar sonata.Andante, ofMikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionisfrom 1908.

The artist[edit]

Čiurlionis was a Lithuanian composer and painter. His most famous musical compositions are probably the symphonic poems.In the Forest(Miške) andThe Sea(Jūra). They are both in a late romantic idiom. As a painter was Čiurlionis was a symbolist rooted inLithuanian mythology, and his paintings were built in part by musical form principles.

“Musical” paintings[edit]

Čiurlionis painted seven pictorial sonatas. He originally numbered them (the titles were later adapted). His pictorial sonatas can be connected withsynaesthesia, the fusion of music and art, and embody an original approach to synæstesis. The artist uses principles ofmusical compositionin the paintings associated with the structure of musical forms such assonatas,fuguesorpreludes. He united motifs from reality, spatial levels, dates and contrasting symbolic images into a single compositional system or cycle, based on the dynamics of rhythm.Stellar Sonata. Allegrois a vision of outer space with fantastic multi-layered images.

The compositional elements of the painting are arranged in a complex varyingrhythm. To portray the third dimension he did not use perspective, but instead overlays of varyingopacity. Čiurlionis imagines the universe as a grandpolyphonicsymphony, junctions of cosmic nebulae, stars and sunlight. The waves of this space ocean – the songs – mix together to form a rich, ornamented and beautiful network pierced by the path ofthe Milky Way. The movement in outer space is not chaotic, but rhythmic and harmonic. The symbol of order andharmonyin the universe is anangel-like, a figure of light standing on a tapered tower of light. The second part of the sonata ( “Stellar sonata. Andante”) is also solemn and monumental, but much more restrained: a few bands of cosmic fog blur one spherical planet, perhaps the Earth itself, and an angel goes slowly over the band of the Milky Way, and gives the impression of serene and magnificent music. This is one of the artist’s most musical creations, full of the interplay of colors, rhythmic variations and a powerful imagination.[1]


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