Online Encyclopedia

LENA

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V16, Page 417 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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LENA, a river of Siberia, rising in the Baikal Mountains, on the W. side of Lake Baikal, in 540 10' N. and 107° 55' E. Wheeling round by the S., it describes a semicircle, then flows N.N.E. and N.E., being joined by the Kirenga and the Vitim, both from the right; from 113° E. it flows E.N.E as far as Yakutsk (62° N., 127° 40' E.), where it enters the lowlands, after being joined by the Olekma, also from the right. From Yakutsk it goes N. until joined by its right-hand affluent the Aldan,which deflects it to the north-west; then, after receiving its most important left-hand tributary, the Vilyui, it makes its way nearly due N. to the Nordenskjold Sea, a division of the Arctic, disemboguing S.W. of the New Siberian Islands by a delta 1o,800 sq. m. in area, and traversed by seven principal branches, the most important being Bylov, farthest east. The total length of the river is estimated at 286o m. The delta arms sometimes remain blocked with ice the whole year round. At Yakutsk navigation is generally practicable from the middle of May to the end of October, and at Kirensk, at the confluence of the Lena and the Kirenga, from the beginning of May to about the same time. Between these two towns there is during the season regular steamboat communication. The area of the river basin is calculated at 895,500 sq. m. Gold is washed out of the sands of the Vitim and the Olekma, and tusks of the mammoth are dug out of the delta. See G. W. Melville, In the Lena Delta (1885). LE NAIN, the name of three brothers, Lours, ANTOINE and MATHIEU, who occupy a peculiar position in the history of French art. Although they figure amongst the original members of the French Academy, their works show no trace of the influences which prevailed when that body was founded. Their sober execution and choice of colour recall characteristics of the Spanish school, and when the world of Paris was busy with mythological allegories, and the " heroic deeds " of the king, the three Le Nain devoted themselves chiefly to subjects of humble life such as " Boys Playing Cards," " The Forge," or " The Peasants' MeaI." These three paintings are now in the Louvre; various others may be found in local collections, and some fine drawings may be seen in the British Museum; but the Le Nain signature is rare, and is never accompanied by initials which might enable us to distinguish the work of the brothers. Their lives are lost in obscurity; all that can be affirmed is that they were born at Laon in Picardy towards the close of the 16th century. About 1629 they went to Paris; in 1648 the three brothers were received into the Academy, and in the same yearboth Antoine and Louis died. Mathieu lived on till August 1677; he bore the title of chevalier, and painted many portraits. Mary of Medici and Mazarin were amongst his sitters, but these works seem to have disappeared. See Champfleury, Essai sur la vie et l'ceuvre des Le Nain (1850), and Catalogue des tableaux des Le Nain (1861).
End of Article: LENA
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