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Ponedeljak, 23 Avgust 2021 10:54

Neuschwanstein Castle, New Swan Stone Castle

The German castle Neuschwanstein is located in the southwest of Bavaria near Füssen, not far from the border with Austria. Neuschwanstein means "New Swan Castle" referencing "the Swan Knight" one of the famous German composer Richard Wagner's characters. The castle was built by King Ludwig II of Bavaria, also known as the Fairytale King who was a great admirer and supporter of Wagner. Construction began in 1869 but was never fully completed. It is known as a symbol of idealized romantic architecture, but also because of the tragic story of its owner. It is considered the most beautiful and spectacular castle in the world and was the inspiration for Walt Disney for the castle of the Thorn Rose. Since 1886, Neuschwanstein Castle has been open to the public.

One of his best fairy tales The Ugly Duckling Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen first conceived in 1842 while enjoying the beauty of nature in the country estate of Bregentved and lavished a year's worth of attention upon it. The first tale's title was The Young Swans but he didn't want to spoil the element of surprise in the protagonist's transformation and discarded it for The Ugly Duckling. The fairy tale was first published in 1843 in Copenhagen and quickly experienced great success with audiences and critics, and Andersen enjoyed literary fame from the mid-1830s. It is considered to be his autobiographical work because he was also an ugly and poor child. Andersen told critic Georg Brandes in an interview that his autobiography had already been written in the fairy tale The Ugly Duckling, which is also a "reflection of his life". In the end, the fairy tale The Ugly Duckling and its author Andersen experienced a happy ending.

The Tale of Tsar Saltan, of His Son the Renowned and Mighty Bogatyr Prince Gvidon Saltanovich, and of the Beautiful Princess-Swan is one of the most famous fairy tales from Russian folklore which was inspired many artists. In general, there are two versions. The first was written in the 19th century when dozens of scholars in Europe began to collect old stories, fables, fairy tales, legends, and everything that might help to preserve cultural heritage in the rapidly developing society where new norms replaced traditions without much thought if everything old is so bad to deserve to be forgotten. The most famous collection of that time is known as Fairy Tales by Brothers Grimm. The second, and even better-known version today is the poem The Tale of Tsar Saltan which was written by Alexander Pushkin in 1831, and published a year later in the collection of "poem A. Pushkin".

The Russian painter Mikhail Vrubel sought inspiration in literature and usually presented tragic situations or dark sides of the figures in the paintings. He painted The Swan Princess at the farm of his parents in Chernihiv province, in present-day Ukraine, in the summer of 1900. It is believed that the painting was inspired by the opera The Tale of Tsar Saltan by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov which was based on the fairytale of the same name by Alexander Pushkin. Vrubel designed the decor and costumes for this opera and his wife, opera singer Nadezhda Zabela-Vrubel, sang in the role of The Swan Princess. However, he said that he set the character of Tatiana from the poem by Eugene Onegin by Pushkin. The painting The Swan Princess is in The State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow.

Petak, 13 Avgust 2021 11:27

Swan song is an inspiration in art

The idea of the swan song recurs from Aesop to Ovid to Plato to Tennyson. According to folklore, while he is mute during the rest of his life, swan sings most beautifully and mournfully before he dies. Hence this phrase came to be used to describe someone who was leaving in style and for the final performance of an actor, singer, composer, poet, or the like. Now it means the last effort of any man and also someone's best work.

Utorak, 10 Avgust 2021 10:40

The Swan by Stéphane Mallarmé

The virginal, enduring, beautiful today
will a drunken beat of its wing break us
this hard, forgotten lake haunted under frost
by the transparent glacier of unfled flights!

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