Engravings, light, glass: the unusual art of the physicist and lyric poetry of Anatoly Mantula

An exhibition of extraordinary paintings by the physicist-inventor Anatoly Mantula opened in the Chocolate House (a branch of the Museum of Russian Art in Kiev). A scientist who has been fascinated by engraving for more than 30 years has invented a novelty: Mezzotint engraving (another name is “black manners”) is the process of creating engravings on metal belonging to the intaglio printing techniques. At the same time, in contrast to etching, here the image is formed not by lines, but by fine gradations of light and shadow. Hence the name, translated from Italian meaning "halftones". The master does not create indentations - lines and points - and smoothes the light areas on the rough surface of the board. Read more The process of creating an aquatint is similar to etching, but this technique makes it possible to obtain rich tonal and textural effects, similar to a water-color pattern — watercolor (hence the name aquatint). The popularity of this type of intaglio printing, which appeared at the end of the XVIII century, is connected with this. Read more Lithography along with monotype belongs to the group of techniques of flat printing, but this is where their similarity almost ends. Lithograph appeared in 1796 or 1798, thanks to Johann Alois Senefelder, a typographer from Munich. Initially, the imprint was taken from a drawing on a stone — usually limestone — slab, from which the name of this method came (from other Greek meaning λθος "stone" + γράφω "writing, drawing"). Now, instead of a lithographic stone, zinc or aluminum plates are used, which are easier to process. Read further on glass plus an internal light source. The attention of the audience - glass paintings-variations on the plots of Dutch artists of the XVII century, illustrations to the plays of Shakespeare, portraits of famous scientists and writers. Glowing pictures cause a sea of ​​emotions!The artist-inventor himself tells about the author's technique: - This exhibition presents 25 works, 15 of them are made according to my own drawings, and 9 works are based on paintings by famous masters. I came up with this method when I worked at the Institute for Superhard Materials, which is engaged in the development of diamond production and glass processing. Then I had an idea, but it matured for a long time, it was only in the 1990s that I began to create paintings on glass."Winter landscape" in the picture of Daniel van Hale, 2014Winter landscape Daniel van Heil Gravures are made by hand engraving a picture on a transparent, translucent or mirror glass. As a result, the matrix itself becomes a complete work, rather than an imprint on paper in the traditional representation of an engraving. Due to the material - glass - the picture acquires a three-dimensional dimension, and the internal source of light makes them even more spectacular and intriguing.“Muden Castle in the Winter” in the picture of J. Beersstraaten, 2014Castle in winter Jan Abraham Beerstraten Anatoly continues to explain the subtleties of the work: “Where there is no engraving, the glass remains dark. Depending on the depth of the engraving, the point is brighter or dimmer, therefore the pictures are obtained with different color gradations. The first chapter of the Bronze Horseman is engraved in this picture: if you take a magnifying glass, you can read the text. It is laborious - the depth of the stroke needs to be controlled very carefully, and if in pictures without inner light I can shalt, then here it is very difficult to find half tones. After all, "trash" is only a few microns ... "“Pushkin's Petersburg” according to the drawing R. Yakhnin, 2002

- At first, I did an engraving machine, because I’m a physicist engineer. Then I broke it and threw it away, because if I work on a machine, I have to roughly copy the work of another artist, and I have an individual approach. I take a picture, for example, a Dutchman of the 17th century, and, looking at it, I make my drawing on paper and then transfer it from paper to glass. Moreover, when transferring from paper to glass, there are various difficulties. On average, I work on one job for three months, and sometimes, sometimes, it takes half a year. I have already upgraded the equipment three times, but now I’ve focused on solving creative problems.
A. Mantula "The Queen", portrait of People's Artist of Ukraine Irina Doroshenko. Fantasy on the play of the Theater. I. Franko “Eh, musketeers, musketeers ...” 2004

The Golden Age of Dutch art is the favorite period of Anatolia. Eight landscapes at the exhibition are based on the great Dutch artists. He also showed his admiration for the outstanding achievements made in the 17th century by making portraits of the most outstanding personalities of that time - Galileo, Shakespeare and Cervantes.Portraits of Galileo, Shakespeare and Cervantes, 2004 The exhibition is open until February 9, 2016.