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Peter the Great Saving Drowning Soldiers During a Flood. 1914

Afanasyev Vasily,
Oil on canvas
220 х 311

State Russian Museum

Пост.: 1932 из АХ


Under the influence of works by Valentin Serov that were devoted to the time of Peter the Great, the image of the Emperor underwent a change in painting at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries. Artists now no longer strove to idealise Peter’s appearance, and sometimes even stressed the disproportionateness of his body, the clumsiness of his stance and the lack of classical beauty and trueness in the lines of his face. Being very close to historical truth, this viewpoint gave artists the chance to use jerky movements, emphatic gestures and expressive mimicry both to reveal Peter’s real personality, and through it to bring out clearly the troubled time of his reign. This is how the great reformer appears in the painting by Vasily Afanasyev: energetic, abrupt and impulsive. The dynamism of the painting’s composition is strengthened by the broad, sweeping way that the picture is painted.

Author's Biography

Afanasyev Vasily

Afanasyev, Vasily Alexeyevich
1888, St Petersburg – 1924, Murom
Painter. Studied at the Higher Art School of the Imperial Academy of Arts (1907–1914). Contributed to exhibitions (from 1910). Member and exhibitor of the Society of Travelling Art Exhibitions (1916–1918), Society of Artists (1917).

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