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Morning. 1917

Petrov-Vodkin Kuzma,
Oil on сanvas
161 x 129

State Russian Museum


Several aspects of Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin’s Morning — the composition and the flat dimensions and space — reflect the artist’s interest in Old Russian painting and the early Italian Renaissance. The images of the mother and son, with their icon-like postures and austere facial expressions, are like a Russian version of the theme of the Virgin and Child. The pensive woman tenderly holding the baby is both a peasant woman from the banks of the River Volga and the Mother of God giving her son up to the world. The other female figures are both bathers and the holy women who accompanied Christ to the Cross. The complex imagery appears to reflect the moods of the period — the First World War and the revolution.

Author's Biography

Petrov-Vodkin Kuzma

Petrov-Vodkin, Kuzma Sergeyevich
1878, Khvalynsk (Saratov Province) -1939, Leningrad
Painter, graphic artist, writer on art, history painter, portraitist. Studied at the Baron Stieglitz Central School of Technical Drawing (1895-97), under Abram Arkhipov and Valentin Serov at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture (1897-1904), at Anton Aube''s school in Munich (1901) and private academies in Paris. Contributed to exhibitions (from 1898). Contributed to the Salon d''Automne (1906-07, 1908), Sergei Makovsky Salon (1909), Union of Russian Artists (1909, 1910), Golden Fleece (1909), Union of Youth (1910), World of Art (191124), Second Post-Impressionist Exhibition (1912), First Free Exhibition of Works of Art (1919), Association of Artists of Revolutionary Russia (1923, 1928), Four Arts (1925-29), World Exhibition in Brussels (1910) and the International Exhibitions in Rome (1911), Malmo (1914) and Venice (1924, 1928). Taught at the Elizaveta Zvantseva School of Painting and Drawing in St Petersburg (1910-15) and the Free Art Studios/Academy of Arts (1918-38). Honoured Artist of Russia (1930).

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