Pastels and gouache on cardboard
51 x 68
State Russian Museum
Valentin Serov painted his finest landscapes at Domotkanovo, an estate belonging to his friends in Tver Province. The smooth horizontal grounds, muffled silverochre tones and the calm manner of applying the paint convey the quiet poetry of the dull expanses and the placid mood of a grey day.
This effect is intensified by the poetic motif of the sledge being driven out of the gates by a young horse. The landscape is an excellent example of Serov’s masterly command of the paintbrush, particularly in the way the artist conveys the movement of the sledge, the glimmering grey nuances of the shed and the forest in the distance, the snowdrifts in the field and the snow trampled into the road.
Serov, Valentin Alexandrovich
1865, St Petersburg - 1911, Moscow
Painter, graphic artist, teacher, portraitist, landscapist, history painter. Son of the composer Alexander Serov. Studied under Ilya Repin in Paris and Moscow (1874-75, 1878-80) and under Pavel Chistyakov at the Imperial Academy of Arts (1880-85). Academician of painting (1898), full member of the Imperial Academy of Arts (1903-05). Member of the Abramtsevo circle (from the 18705). Contributed to exhibitions (from 1889). Contributed to the exhibitions of the Society of Travelling Art Exhibitions (1890-99; member from 1894), Munich Sezession (1896, 1898,1899; member from 1899), Exhibition of Russian and Finnish Artists (1898), World of Art (1896-1906, member from 1900; 1911-12, founding member), Berlin Sezession (1903), Exhibition of Historical Russian Portraits at the Tauride Palace in St Petersburg (1905), Union of Russian Artists (1905-10; member from 1903), Sergei Makovsky Salon (1909), Exposition Universelle in Paris (1900, grand prix), International Exhibitions in Munich (1909), Vienna (1902), Venice (1907), Brussels (1910) and Rome (1911) and the Exhibitions of Russian Art in Paris (1906, 1910), Berlin (1906) and Vienna (1908). Member of the board of the Tretyakov Gallery. Taught at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture (1897-1909). Designed for theatres in Moscow and St Petersburg and Sergei Diaghilev''s Saisons Russes (from 1886).