“For him there were no boundaries between nationalities. He readily made friends with the natives of any country…. He was no stranger to Latvians, Lithuanians, Jews, Tatars, Karaites, Russians. He was ready to help everyone if possible.”
At a time of great division in the Eastern European community a lesson in multiculturalism, unity and brotherhood can be learned from an unusual person, a Soviet Lithuanian artist Czeslaw Znamierowski (23 May 1890 – 9 August 1977). He was born in Imperial Russia on Latvian territory into a Polish family. At the age of 32 he became a citizen of the Soviet Union and soon after moved permanently to Lithuania, where he lived until his last day.
Although lately Western scholars have begun to pay attention to various manifestations of the rise of ethnic Russian nationalism as distinct from official “Soviet patriotism” they have virtually ignored the phenomenon of Il’ia Glazunov, a Soviet painter who is also a foremost protagonist of that nationalism. The chief reason for this lack of scholarly interest lies in the fact that not only has Glazunov been a controversial figure but he was also accused of Russian chauvinism, anti-Semitism, and of being a KGB agent.
When I first learned that Saudi Arabia is purchasing the only self-portrait of Benvenuto Cellini for €107 million I was immediately intrigued by the sum. As a financial analyst I am interested in numbers, and especially pricing, so I decided to examine all available publications in order to create a price-timeline for this portrait.