Some of the Outstanding People_
Albert Einstein - William Hogarth - Levitan - John Constable - Stanley Spencer - Margaret Thatcher - Andrew Wyet - William Shakespeare - Frank O'Connor
Albert Einstein is known all over the world as a brilliant physicist and the founder of the theory of relativity. He is perhaps the greatest scientist of the 20th century. Some of his ides made possible the A-bombs, as well as TV and other inventions. He was born in 1879 in a small German town. The Einstein family soon moved to Munich, where Albert went to school. Neither his parents, nor his school teachers thought much of his mental abilities. In 1895 Albert failed the entrance examination to a technical college in Zurich. A year ago, however, he managed to pass the exam and entered the college. After graduating from college, Einstein started to work at the Swiss Patent Office in Bern. In 1905 he wrote a short article in a science magazine. This was his "Special Theory of Relativity", the basis of Atomic energy. Later he became a professor in several European universities and in 1914 moved to Berlin as a member of the Prussian Academy of Sciences. After ten years of work, he created his "General Theory of Relativity". In 1921 Einstein received the Nobel Prize for Physics. A Jew, and a pacifist, he was attacked by Nazis, and when Hitler came to power in 1933 he decided to settle in the USA. After the war he spoke out passionately against nuclear weapons and repression. Einstein died in 1955. The artificial element einsteinium has been named in his honour.
William Hogarth was one of the greatest of English artists and a man of remarkably individual character and thought. He observed life with keen and critical eye and his range of observation was dramatic composition. Hogarth was a social painter who produced his own pictorial drama composition comprising various scenes of society's social life. His art was a reflection and interpretation on the social condition of his time. Hogarth's magnificent powers of composition were fully displayed in his series of engravings, the most famous is "The Marriage a-la-Mode". Hogarth was also a brilliant portrait painter. In portraiture he displayed a great variety. The portrait of his own face gives an idea of that keen and brave look with which William Hogarth regarded the world.
Levitan was one of the first painters of Russian scenery to reveal its beauty. He is a real poet of the Russian countryside. Levitan is a very special sort of painter. There is something is his landscapes that reflects our moods. He deeply felt what he wanted to depict. A master of landscape, he never introduced figures into it. Thought if you look at "The autumn in Sokolniky" you will notice the figure in the center. Everything seems to underline the loneliness of this figure: the trees loosing their leaves, the remote indifferent sky, the path going off into the distance. But the fact is that it was not Levitan who painted this figure. It was Chekhov's brother Nikolay who did it. Levitan's influence over lyrical landscape painters can't be over estimated. His paintings have won the love and gratitude of people.
John Constable , the greatest of English landscape painters, came from the Suffolk, and it was from the Suffolk landscape that he drew his inspiration. Constable's affection for nature was great and his mastery to show the much loved English scene reached its marvelous peak. He always attempted to depict the transient effects of nature: light, clouds and rain. Constable was an acute observer of nature and had a romantic passion for light. Constable's method of painting was nearest to Impressionism. His treatment of skies is especially notable. No one has painted cloud effects so truthfully and with so much skill.
Stanley Spencer is one of the most original of modern British artists. He was a painter of imaginative and religious subjects, landscapes and occasional portraits. "Swan Upping" is one of Spencer's best known pictures. This painting has an air of hightened reality; the light reflected from the water suggests moonlight, yet events take place in the foreground in daylight. There is anxiety in the immobilized swans and the face of the woman on the bridge, a mood enhanced by the serrated edges of the clouds and the flame-like branches of the tree on the right. An ordinary scene made to appeal extraordinary. Spencer's works are well represented in the Tate Gallery collection and the exhibition reveals the full range of his output, from early drawings done while still a student to his late self-portrait, painted a few months before his death in 1959.
Margaret Thatcher was the longest Prime Minister of the 20th century. Her style and her views appealed to mane British people who had lost confidence in the welfare state and in the direction the nation had taken. In some ways she was the first genuine leader the nation had had since Churchill. Margaret Thatcher began her career in politics, when she became a Conservative Member of Parliament. in 1979 she was elected as Britain's first woman Prime Minister. From the start, her autocratic style earned her the nickname of "The Iron Lady". Her abrasive manner has attracted some criticism. During the Falklands War of 1982, however, Margaret Thatcher's militant patriotism found her many supporters, and she became something of a popular hero-figure, much as Winston Churchill had been in the Second World War. Margaret Thatcher was re-elected Prime Minister in the general elections of 1983 and 1987.
Andrew Wyet is one of the prominent living American painters. He was born in 1917. The son of illustrator - Andrew is the leading member of the dynasty of painters that includes his sisters, their husbands and his own two sons. He won fame at the age of 12 for his illustrations of "Robin Hood". He was 20 when he first exhibited his paintings. Andrew studied with his father and was strongly influenced by him. His father's style of illustration expresses sentimentality. But very early the young artist gravitated a way from his teacher. Wyet's style is both precise and minute in detail, he is a realist influenced by photography. He painted portraits, landscapes, seascapes and domestic scenery. His favorite media are tempera and water colors. His works are easily recognized by dimly lit and deserted landscapes in tones of grey and brown which convey the feeling of loveliness and solitude. His most famous works are "Christina's world" and "Inland shell".
William Shakespeare. When to speak about world literature, then the name of William Shakespeare is the best to explain the real value of literature in the world of art. William Shakespeare is generally regarded as the greatest poet and dramatist of English literature. He wrote 37 plays which continue to be read widely and produced frequently throughout the world. Shakespeare was a master at creating a certain atmosphere of a play, its general mood or feeling. It could be melancholy, lively or frightening, tragic or mystical. The power and beauty of his language helped build the prevailing mood in each play. Shakespeare's genius lays in his power of understanding human nature which is the same today, tomorrow and forever. He showed the world of men in its complexity and variety. His plays have the same powerful impact an audience today as they did when they were first staged. There is no writer who has touched the depth and height of characters as Shakespeare did. There is a great joy in moving through a Shakespeare's play, living through the emotions of the characters, while reading a play or watching it. One experiences in one own being the troubles, tragedies, absurdities of the creatures created by that Great Imaginer.
Frank O'Connor. One of my favorite authors is Frank O'Connor. . Frank O'Connor is a pseudonym of Michael Odonovan, born in Cork, Ireland in 1903. He grew up in an Irish provincial town. His published works include poems, plays, novels, translations, criticism. Frank O'Connor was a real master of the short story. He could draw his readers into Irish life, showing his sense of humour and his compassion for human beings in their loneliness and their confusion. As you know a story's success depends on how heroes are presented in the story. They can be presented through the character's actions or their speech; through a physical description and through the opinions of other characters. In the Frank O'Connor's book "The Idealist" the heroes are presented through actions and conversations. I think that each character must have a special quality that makes you remember him for a long time. The main hero - Delany - was truthful, frank, decisive. Gorman, his classmate was mean, dishonest and unpleasant. By the way of contrast the author managed to underline the romantic nature of Delany, who created his own world of things, people and ideas. What impressed me most of all in Melonie, the teacher, it was his cruelty. He punished pupils with a cane. It goes without sign that the theme of the story is the relationships between pupils and a teacher. I think they were awful. Though Delany created his own world thanks to books, the real world turned out to differ from the imaginary one. I shall now elaborate the fourth point of my talk. I sympathize (admire, hate, spoilt my impressions of the book) with the main hero because he didn't give up reading, he continued reading books.
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