Gifts of Autumn by Alexander Gerasimov

Gifts of Autumn by Alexander Gerasimov

The canvas impresses everyone who saw it, with its rich tones, subconsciously evokes autumn flavors and pushes to reach out to the berries of mountain ash. The still life depicted by the artist is an instant that he snatched from his ordinary life, because the autumn bouquets are at home for each of us.

The very location of the bouquet is near the window. This technique creates special lighting, a game of chiaroscuro. A transparent jar of water, in which a bouquet is standing, enables the viewer to see how the stems of the plant and the sun’s rays are intricately interwoven in water. It is worth noting

that this method is one of the key in the creative style of Gerasimov, it is in this picture that he is the most bright and relevant.

The very same still life, made by combinations of bright red and yellow palette, demonstrates the generosity of harvesting time and its unique colors. The plot of the picture is quite simple – a combination of fruits with plants on a table covered with a tablecloth, near the window. The compositional solution of “Gifts of Autumn” is typical for still life. The central part is occupied by a vase with rowan branches, bent downwards from the weight of berries. They attract the viewer’s attention and are the main “character” of the entire canvas. The foreground takes a plate with apples that resemble fruits from Michurinsk, a garden city, the birthplace of Gerasimov. Every spectator who sees them unwittingly wants to be in the apple orchard in the autumn season, to smell the fruit and bite the juicy pulp of the apple. Next to the plate with apples are sunflowers, where half of the seeds are already gone. These plants emphasize the general mood of the picture, and a small fungus seems to indicate that the mushroom season has already come.

The classical traditions of still life are used in this picture. The main principle of such an image of objects is a bouquet near the window or fruits in the central part of the picture. As for the basic concepts of a still life, he means a group of things, both animate and inanimate, but always isolated from the natural environment. Spectators can see the mushroom, sunflower and ashberry in the picture “Gifts of Autumn”, which are no longer in their natural environment. Still life, as a rule, presents objects that are small in size and all of them are directly related to human life. Still life requires details, so on the canvas Gerasimov carefully traced cluster of mountain ash, sunflower seeds and each leaf.

All elements of the picture are interrelated, but, meanwhile, they represent independent objects. So, two half-empty sunflowers bring intrigue to the plot, because the artist does not give an answer to the question about where the second half of the seeds went. The spectator himself decides whether their birds have pecked them or if someone from the household has tried an autumn gift.

The role of sunflower in traditional people’s ideas about nature is ambiguous. He is a symbol of sunlight, and at the same time prosperity and wealth. In addition, a sunflower means a family, and its seeds collected in one nest are people in their own home. The artist uses a slightly different meaning of this plant: for him the play of contrasting colors on the petals means nothing other than natural riches and generosity of the earth towards people.

The only thing in the picture that does not belong to the group is the mushroom. The viewer must again guess how he was on the canvas. Someone will say that he accidentally grew up near the author’s house, and someone will think that this object appeared as a figment of the artist’s imagination. One way or another, it is the fungus that emphasizes the interconnection of natural resources.

A bowl with green apples is at the same time a symbol of the biblical forbidden fruit, and sweets, and prosperity. Solar glare on them pushes the viewer to a cheerful mood and evokes powerful taste associations.

Dominating the picture, of course, is the bouquet of mountain ash, which carries the main semantic load and places a coloristic accent. Branches of scarlet color are so heavy that they bend downward. The bouquet itself is huge – it completely closes the window. In addition, he sets the general mood and emphasizes the overall tone of the picture. A saturated red color makes all objects look not ordinary, but luxurious, satisfying, just as the treasures of nature should look like. Everyone who is familiar with the poets of the silver age, involuntarily recalls the lines of Tsvetaeva “the red dahlia of the mountain ash lit”. Now these people have the opportunity to see what the poet had in mind, which red color. Rowan in the picture of Gerasimov burns with fire – this is a royally luxurious shade, which means prosperity. The scarlet clusters of mountain ash once again demonstrate,

Sun rays through the window like caress only the torn clusters. The game of contrasts in the picture is a synthesis of a transparent vase, green leaves, juicy apples and tablecloths on the table. The remaining elements – fungus, sunflowers, even walls, do not have the usual shades for the viewer. The red color of mountain ash managed to change them. It seems like a bucket of scarlet color just sprayed on the picture, leaving only black sunflower seeds.

Window light gives the “Gifts of Autumn” brightness, makes the paint clear and saturated. The direct rays of the sun seem to make all natural resources even juicier, even brighter – they seem to pamper the viewer with their own appearance.

“Gifts of Autumn” is a still-life mood that gives an opportunity to admire the last rays of light, to enjoy their warmth and, biting a juicy apple, once again marvel at the number of red shades in the picture.

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