Artist to 'fix' work that Putin criticised
Friday 12 June 2009
A distinguished Russian artist has promised to change a painting he completed 36 years ago after Prime Minister Vladimir Putin told him a sword depicted in the work of art was too short.
Mr Putin visited the studio of Ilya Glazunov on Wednesday as part of the artist's 79th birthday celebrations, but when he saw the 1973 painting Oleg with Igor, he couldn't resist casting his refined art critic's judgement on the work.
"The sword is a bit too short, it looks like a pocket knife in his hands," Mr Putin reportedly told the artist. "It looks like it's only good for slicing sausage." The artist agreed and promised to rectify the mistake, remarking that Mr Putin has a good eye for detail. "I don't miss a single detail," the Prime Minister agreed.
Mr Putin may feel qualified to pass judgement on the works of others after a piece he painted for a charity auction fetched 37 million roubles (£750,000) in January. The painting was of a window looking out to a wintry night. The auction's organisers said Mr Putin had "little difficulty" in putting it together.
When looking at another of Glazunov's paintings this week, Mr Putin asked why the artist had drawn Joseph Stalin and Leon Trotsky together. When told the work was painted from a historical perspective and that Trotsky had indeed played a big role in Russian history, Mr Putin didn't look convinced.
It is not the first time that he has offered his opinion on the arts. After visiting a production of Woe from Wit, a popular Russian play by Alexander Griboyedov, Mr Putin gathered the director and actors and complained that they had made the main character look too weak by having him cry.
It's not just Russians who should be wary of Mr Putin's perfect eyes and ears, either. He told Andrew Lloyd Webber at a recent meeting that he was a big fan of his musical, before accusing the British composer of stealing melodies from Sergei Prokofiev.
- 1 Frank Lampard's face drops when Holly Willoughby introduces him as a 'Man City legend'
- 2 'Do not give them a reason': Baltimore man divides police and rioters in hope of avoiding violence
- 3 X Factor in crisis as numbers of people auditioning plummets
- 4 Baltimore riots: Furious mother marches her son home live on TV
- 5 General Election 2015: Stephen Hawking says he will vote Labour
General Election 2015: Tories suspend candidate who said she would never support 'the Jew' Ed Miliband
Bali Nine executions: Indonesia confirms killings of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran will go ahead
The four utterly contradictory polls that tell the story of this election and why it is pointless trying to predict the outcome
General Election 2015: Prospect of Labour-SNP coalition makes one in four voters less likely to support Ed Miliband, says survey
Baltimore riots: Furious mother marches her son home live on TV
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
Andrew Lloyd Webber: Phantom of the Opera writer mocked after issuing a warning about Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon
EU exit would hit UK economy much harder than neighbouring countries, study finds
General election 2015: Labour will toughen hate crimes legislation surrounding Islamophobia
£30000 - £32000 per annum + car allowance and on call: Ashdown Group: A succes...
£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Well established small company ...
£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company supplies the ultim...
£27000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...