Date: Monday 21 april 2014
Subject: Regarding a painting.

Dear Jan,

I'm an artist from Denmark who is searching for a painting shown in Zerkalo. I have been asking around, searching the internet and writing to several people but without luck. It is the last painting shown in the book Ignat is flicking through, before he meets the mysterious woman who makes him read a passage from Pushkin on Russian identity. I attached a picture of the painting in the book, from the film.

Do you know which painting it is?

Hope you can help me. It would mean a great deal to me.

Kind Regards


Date: Wednesday 23 april 2014
Subject: Regarding a painting.

Hello Sophia,

This is a very good question! That page from the book appears to be a selection of details from some paintings. We tried to find out which book it was but without much success. But we do have some ideas. Incidentally, if you look at individual frames of the film, you'll see the book's chapter titles on top of the pages. The one Ignat is leafing through says "Isskustvo Leonardo da Vinci" ("The art of Leonardo da Vinci"). Another clue I found is in a book of interviews about Tarkovsky. One of the persons interviewed was Tamara Ogorodnikova, production manager for Tarkovsky's films. Of course she was also playing that mysterious woman from the past (she didn't like being in front of the camera at all!) She mentioned in it a "Brockhaus art book". Of course Brockhaus published encyclopaedias and art books in German since forever (as it does to this day). But in the pre-Bolshevik revolution days they also had a Russian subsidiary publishing those books in Russian. So my guess is it's one of those pre-1917 Brockhaus books (called "Брокгауз" in Russian, transcribed as "Brokgauz").

I live in the San Francisco Bay Area and have two large libraries very close: the UC Berkeley and the Stanford. I checked Berkeley: they have a lot of Brockhaus but I couldn't find THAT book. Stanford University has also quite a few but sadly, same result.

So this has been my Story So Far. I think the easiest thing would be to ask Tamara Ogorodnikova. It's high time to clear up this little mystery.