In the harvest. Summer by Alexei Venetsianov

In the harvest. Summer by Alexei Venetsianov

The painting “In the harvest, Summer” belongs to those masterpieces that have an enduring value and to this day deliver a true aesthetic pleasure to the audience. This is truly a Russian landscape, it is in this picture that nature appears to the artist, in the expression of the poet, as “a haven of tranquility, work and inspiration.”

The plot of the painting “In the harvest” is drawn from everyday people’s life. However, AG Venetsianov was least of all asked to depict this life in its everyday aspect, and this conclusion is confirmed by the complete lack of household

accessories on the canvas. The painting has a subtitle “Summer”, which perfectly expresses the general mood of the whole work.

A hot July afternoon. Nature seemed to be frozen in its solemn rest: the hot air is immovable, thick dark golden rye does not move. The viewer seems to hear this ringing silence reigning over the fields. The sky has risen high above the flattened earth, and on it there is “some quiet game of clouds”.

At first glance at the picture, we see only the figure of a peasant woman and only then notice in the background the figures of other reapers. Wrapped in the smell of hot air, they seem to dissolve in the vast space. The impression of airy immensity, from the extent of the fields is created thanks to the alternation of plans that go back to the hilly lines of the horizon, rising one after another. No wonder many art historians note that the pictures of A. Venetsianov are permeated with a single rhythm, like music. In the canvas “In the harvest, summer” the main motive unfolds in the foreground, and then rhythmically repeats several times, like a refrain in a song.

Quietly and at ease, straightening the strained back, a woman sits, putting a sickle beside her. Her stately, majestic figure, enveloped in dense hot air, is illuminated by the hot rays of the midday sun.

A peasant woman, nursing a child clinging to her, sits in profile to the viewer, on the dais, from where she opens a view of the vast fields – then generously flooded with sunshine, now a little shaded by silvery white clouds floating slowly across the high sky. Despite the fact that the peasant woman sits on a high platform, as if ruling over everything around him, however, it is organically connected with the landscape and the ongoing action by the bonds of indissoluble unity.

But nature in A. Venetsianov’s paintings is not just an arena of human labor, it does not act as violence against nature, distorting its natural appearance. From the point of view of the artist, man’s work is a continuation of the life activity of nature, with the only difference being that from the spontaneous it turns into a rational one. And man, thus, appears as a self-conceiving nature, in this sense he is the “crown of creation.”

Perfectly written background – a field with sheaves and figures of reapers, and above them – a high sky with melting clouds. The sun is behind the peasant woman, and thanks to this her face and most of the figure are shaded, and this makes it possible to generalize the forms and reveal the clean and smooth lines in her silhouette.

AG Venetsianov had a rare poetic gift, he was able to find poetry in the daily cares and troubles of a man – in his work and life. The words Gogol said about Pushkin are fully applicable to him. Like Pushkin’s works, “where Russian nature breathes”, so can A. G. Venetsianov’s paintings “be understood only by the one whose soul is purely Russian elements, to whom Rus is the homeland whose soul… is gently organized and developed in feelings. “

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