How and why works of art are mutilated
Herostratus is the first art vandal in history. He burned down the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus to be remembered by posterity
In doing so, they often explain their actions with lofty goals — a political action, an artistic gesture or even a command from God.
The Ephesians sentenced him to execution and ordered that his name should never be mentioned. This story is told in the writings of Theopompus.
Often art vandals are officially recognised as insane. But just as often their actions find justification, justification and followers.
Thus, Herostratus achieved his goal: he gained immortal, albeit disgraceful, fame.
Temple of artemis in ephesus
Abram Balashov, an Old Believer, rushed to the painting with a knife and made three long cuts on the canvas on the faces of Tsar Ivan and his murdered son. At the same time he shouted "Enough deaths, enough blood!". The intruder was immediately detained by a gallery attendant.
The police considered him mentally ill and transferred him to the care of doctors. Balashov was declared insane and was placed in the Central Reception Centre for the Insane in St. Petersburg.
The night watch
The morning walk
Ivan the Terrible and His Son Ivan on 16 November 1581
Rembrandt van Rijn
Rembrandt van Rijn
Thomas Gainsborough
Ilya Repin
The painting was corrected by the restorer Bogoslovsky and by Repin himself
The Mona Lisa is one of the most protected paintings in the world. It has been attempted to be destroyed five times in the last 70 years
Mona Lisa
Leonardo da Vinci
In 1956, the painting was attacked twice. A visitor poured acid on it and damaged the lower part of the painting.
Later that same year, 1956, a young Bolivian, Hugo Ungaza Villegas, threw a stone at the painting and damaged the paint layer. He justified his actions as follows: "I had a stone in my pocket and I suddenly thought of throwing it"
The Mona Lisa was then protected by bulletproof glass, which made her safe from further serious attacks
In 1972, geologist Laszlo Toth pounced on Michelangelo's sculpture shouting "I am Jesus Christ, Christ has risen from the dead!"
He struck the sculpture 15 times with a rock hammer, cracking the Madonna's left arm and damaging her face.
At the trial, Thoth repeated that he was Jesus Christ and Michelangelo himself, and God had commanded him to destroy the statue of the Madonna. Accusing his judges of the deadly sin of pride, Thoth promised to curse them on the day of the Last Judgement.
La Pietà
After restoration using about fifty broken fragments, Michelangelo's work was installed behind bulletproof glass to the right of the entrance to the cathedral
The restoration of the painting cost $10,000. The painting could not be fully restored: the green colour remained inside the cracks and craquelures
On 4 January 1997, at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the activist artist Alexander Brener painted a dollar sign on a painting in green paint.
At trial, he argued that it was an artistic action that could be seen as a dialogue with Malevich, and that the dollar sign painted over the cross, a symbol of suffering, was a sign of protest against corruption and commercialism in the art world.
Brener was sentenced to five months' imprisonment, as well as five months' probation, a two-year ban on visiting the museum and compensation for restoration work
In 2022, several environmental actions were organised in different museums. The actionists chose food as the medium
hover on food
In 2022, several environmental actions were organised in different museums. The actionists chose food as the medium
tap on food
On 29 May 2022, a man in a woman's wig drove a wheelchair up to a painting of the Mona Lisa in the Louvre. He threw a piece of cake at the famous painting and scattered rose petals around it.
On 14 October 2022, eco-activists from the group Just Stop Oil poured tomato soup on the painting Sunflowers at the National Gallery in London.
Mona Lisa
Leonardo da Vinci
Vincent van Gogh
As security escorted the man out of the hall, he urged other attendees to "think about the Earth."
"Which is more valuable? Art or life? Are you more concerned about protecting a painting? Or protecting our planet and people?" - shouted one of the activists.
Girl with a Pearl Earring
Johannes Vermeer
Claude Monet
On 27 October 2022, other Just Stop Oil activists attacked a painting by Jan Vermeer in the Mauritshuis Museum in The Hague. One of them glued his head to the glass, another poured soup on him and the painting, a third took it down.
The protesters were sentenced to two months in prison.
On 23 October 2022, climate activists from the Last Generation doused mashed potatoes on a Monet painting at the Barberini Museum in Potsdam.
"We have a climate catastrophe and you're freaked out by tomato soup or mashed potatoes on a painting."
I'm King Charles III
you can't do this to me!!!
On 24 October 2022, Just Stop Oil activists smeared chocolate cake on the face of a wax figure of Charles III at Madame Tussauds in London, calling on the government to stop using oil
Vandalism continues to be used to attract attention. but is it worth the damage?
Project creator
All materials belong to the copyright holders
некоммерческий Проект выполнен в рамках курса по искусству верстки от Ани Мельник
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