About Eliška Bartek’ s paintings                                                                                     Benyi Dong*

The art of painting is an important constituent of Eastern and Western arts and cultures. The circumstance of diving of frightened aurochs in Caves painting of Lascaux, France in the late of the Paleolithic Period, 20,000 BC ago, is still showing great artistic attraction until now. In colored drawing (stork, fish and wax) on ceramics unearthed in the site of Miao-ti-kou period 5000 years ago in China, we can clearly see that our ancestors used tender and liberal coarse line to depict rules of symmetric beauty and formal beauty of birds, fish and zax. With continuous development of Eastern and Western arts, mixed cultural and artistic works were created, for excellent works of western artists, such as Venus de Milo, the Mona Lisa of Da Vinci, David of Michelangelo Bounaroti, The Sistine Madonna of Raphael. However, after 1810, in view of academic which had gradually lost vital force and become ordinary in French classical painting, romantic School appear. Romantic School started from true description, always selects exciting events to represent abundant enthusiasm, replace ice—cold rationality by imagination and strong feeling. "Liberty Leading the People" of Eugene Delacroix, an outstanding representative of romanticism, passionately sing the praises of the masses" struggle for freedom and depicts ideal image with symbolic `meaning, whose composition is very compact, whose tone is rich and flavor, with strong artistic attraction. With change of history, simultaneously with gradual decline of Baroque style which pursue magnificence and prosperity in French art in the early 18th century, realism—a kind of citizen art affected by progressive thinking appeared, and the most outstanding artist is Cherdin, who uses very simple and sincere artistic vocabulary, depicts the little who live at the bottom of society such as a washerwoman, a chambermaid and a woman peddler, triggered a new era of realism school.

Gustave Courbet in the 19 th century exhibited his works in the name of “realism” in Paris in 1858, which definitely put forward that realism is just democratic art and paintings shall depict real life of the time and disclose social contradiction. He strictly depict surrounding living and nature, use exact color to represent body and life of objects, use neutral tones to cause transparent sense of light, so his representative works "The Grain Sifters" depicts great image of a laborer by rich color.

Symbolism was produced successively in French movement in literature in the late 18th and early 19th century, which advocates that art is psychical and persist in function of imagination in art. They think the artistic search is divided into image and symbol, i.e. direct feeling and psychical expression, however, painters shall not be devoted to trustily representing the external world, all they need to do is enlightening their dream to people by symbolic moral. For ODILON REDON; a pioneer symbolist painting of surrealist, this implies exploration of dreamland and imagination, dense poetic flavor of his works sent forth eternal charm. In the late 19 th century, impressionist school that starts something new in order to be different appears in French art circle.

Starting from impressionist school, development of natural science and technology in the late 19 th century promotes research and development of optical color. Barbizon school, plein-air and impressionist school boldly abandon realistic tradition of Renaissance which had gone to restrain exertion of initiative spirit of artistic creation, permeating interfusion of vision, produce effect of a kind of mixed color which is fiercer than purity and simultaneously rose another trend of thought, they think impression school pay too much attention to expression of beauty on the outside and objective world. Therefore, they transfer their attention to subjective world. Paul Cezanne, Gauguin, Van Gogh, etc. who generally are viewed as painters of post-impressionism, in view of development of European pictorial art, effected by society and politics, specially with an antagonistic feeling for war, these artists continuously innovate and cry for antiwar, different art is produced in different period and different environment and it developed to abstract art. Abstract art following Cubism and activities happening around it, is gradually produced from Expressionism, and become the mainstream of western painting exercises in the 20 th century. 

In the early time, I have a chance to recognize Eliška Bartek, an artist from Germany, and through long-term cooperation, find that art of Eliška Bartek is the continuation and development of western art.

She has good sense of color, pays great attention to the nature, earnestly love human being and she is very kind, which build the basic qualities of a great artist. She is vigorous, in high spirits and lively sensible, which shows clearly in her paintings. She highly generalizes and boldly exaggerates things by abstract ways, which give people great space of thinking for art. She has solid foundation of modelling, active train of thoughts and is receptive.

Before she came to China, she did not know what Lotus was like, only had some impression from Sleeping Lotus of Monet. After she got to China, friends and I invited her to watch Lotus pond and she was very happy. When she heard that Chinese praise noble quality of lotus ’by“the clearness of the lotus that rises out of the silt”, which stimulates Eliška Bartek zeal for lotus. She used Chinese paper, ink and brush to draw dozens of lotus in Chinese brush painting with great gusto, which has an unusual appearance and leaves beautiful enjoyment for people. Sense of eastern and western artistic excellence is the same and communicating.

She will live in China for a long term and will create many excellent works. We warmly welcome this good friend of Chinese to together construct green world of harmony and peace with eastern artists.

* Chinese Master and Painter

Dong, Benyi. 'About Elisla Bartek's paintings'. Lotus. Eliska Bartek. 1st ed. Beijing, 2007

Text: About Eliška Bartek’ s paintings. Benyi Dong
About Eliška Bartek’ s paintings. Benyi
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