Oil on canvas
81 x 163
State Russian Museum
This is one of Arkhip Kuindzhi’s most famous paintings, well-known to Russian viewers and often included in publications on the history of Russian art of the second half of the nineteenth century. The landscape is a typical work by a master who preferred bright and vivid interpretations of nature, generalized forms, heightened tones and decorative structures. The image of the unremarkable Ukrainian village at sunset is like a fragment of a fairytale world of harmony and tranquillity. The master’s contemporaries noted that his own paints were often more intense than the colours of nature. The sharp contrast of the crimson and turquoise pigments intensifies the effect of pageantry. The objects assume a different scale in this festival of colour and light, while time seems to slow down.
Kuindzhi, Arkhip Ivanovich (1842, Mariupole - 1910, St Petersburg)
Painter, landscapist. Studied at Hovhannes Aivazovsky's studio in Theodosia (1855). Worked as a retoucher in Mariupole, Odessa and St Petersburg (late 1850s-1860s). First-class artist (1878). Travelled across Russia and the Ukraine, Caucasus and Crimea. Visited France, Germany, Great Britain, Switzerland and Austria (1874-1875). Member of the Society of Travelling Art Exhibitions (1875-1880). Professor (1892). Full member of the Imperial Academy of Arts (1893). Headed the landscape painting studio at the Imperial Academy of Arts (1894-1897).