Tempera on canvas
51,5 х 70
State Russian Museum
Пост. в 1926 из МХК через ГИНХУК, Ленинград
Landscape takes on an unusual motif, depicting a side street in a translucent and mysterious deserted Eastern city, as if inspired by the fantasies of A Thousand and One Nights. The harmonic tonality characteristic of many of Josif Shkolnik’s paintings, adds a special mystique to the landscape, which shines through in the intense blue-purple colour palettes and the alarming contrasting blotches of red, black, yellow and light blue. In the decorative quality of the painting, we can sense an echo of folk art — which Shkolnik, like many other artists in his circle, was fascinated by — and a kind of Orientalism, which was an important component in Russian art during the early 1910s.
Shkolnik, Josif Solomonovich (1883, Balta, Ukraine — 1926, Leningrad)
Painter, theatrical designer. Studied at the Odessa School of Art (1898–1905) and the Imperial Academy of Arts in St Petersburg (1905–1907). Founding member of the Union of Youth (1909, secretary). Contributed to exhibitions (from 1908). Contributed to the exhibitions of Modern Trends in Art (1908), Impressionists (1909), Union of Youth (1910–1914), Left-Wing Trends (1915), Exhibition of Paintings and Sculptures by Jewish Artists (1918), First State Exhibition of Free Art (1919) and the Exhibition of Russian Art in Berlin (1922). Designed for theatres in St Petersburg (from 1910). Collaborated with Pavel Filonov on a production of Vladimir Mayakovsky: A Tragedy (1913) in Luna Park Theatre. Member of IZO Narkompros (1918), headed the theatrical and decorative section reorganised into Decorative Institute (1920). Professor, commissar of the Petrograd Free Art Studios (from 1919).