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Black Square Mystery

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Why is a Black Square worth a million dollars?

And why did Joseph Stalin hate it?

The Hermitage is filled with complex objets d’art. This isn’t one of them.

It may look like an empty frame. But it isn’t.

It is a perfectly square canvas painted flat black in the early 20th Century by Russian artist Kazimir Malevich.

Shortly after it was painted, Joseph Stalin ordered its destruction. But someone hid it where Stalin’s goons couldn’t find it.

Recently, a rich Russian oligarch purchased the Black Square for a million dollars, with the stipulation that it should hang in the Hermitage.

Why did Stalin hate it? Why would an artist paint a black square? And why would anyone think it is worth a million dollars?


The secret is revealed in the premiere broadcast of Museum Secrets: Inside the State Hermitage Museum


Jakub K. • #35 • 2013-12-13 04:44:36
I\'d like to make a correction: Kazimir Malevich (Kazimierz Malewicz), my great grand uncle, was not a Russian painter. He was born and worked in the Russian Empire/Soviet Union, true; but he was born into a family of Polonized Lithuanian nobility. H

apotter • #48 • 2013-05-12 02:33:38
@ #35: He was actually my great uncle too! I have never heard anything about a Lithuanian background though.

Manda Lava • #102 • 2016-01-10 11:52:55
Im doing a paper on \"The Black Square\", and I found this online thought it might be of interest to you guys , If you have any insights or info for me that is not generaly available , Id be very interested. Esp as regards to Stalins Hatred of the pa