Oil on сanvas
58,3 x 40,5
State Russian Museum
This painting lacks the notes of social criticism encountered in the majority of Nikolai Jaroshenko’s canvases. On Swings reflects the artist’s interest in the lives of the common people and their everyday joys and sorrows. The master depicts a couple riding on swings — one of the favourite attractions at the national fêtes held in the Russian countryside. The artist pays close attention to the psychological development of the images. The debonair soldier surrounds his girlfriend with attention, while she looks at him out of the corner of her eye, chewing nonchalantly on sunflower seeds. The diagonal composition conveys the rapid movement of the swings, while the elegant tones contribute to the impression of festivity. Nikolai Jaroshenko painted this picture in Kaluga Province.
Jaroshenko, Nikolai Alexandrovich
1846, Poltava -1898, Kislovodsk
Painter, draughtsman, portraitist, genre artist. Studied at the Poltava Military Academy (18505), under Ivan Kramskoi at the School of Drawing, Society for the Encouragement of Artists (from 1864) and at the Imperial Academy of Arts (1868-74). Studied military engineering at the Michael Aca¬demy of Artillery in St Petersburg (1870). Member of the Society of Travelling Art Exhibitions (1876), headed the society after Ivan Kramskoi''''s death (1887). Contributed to exhibitions (from 1875), Retired with the rank of major general (1892). Lived in St Petersburg. Moved to Kislovodsk (late 1880s)