On the lake by Igor Grabar

On the lake by Igor Grabar

Even before the Great October Socialist Revolution, IE Grabar was among the painters whose work determined the face of Russian art of the pre-revolutionary era. Even then they were painted landscapes, striking contemporaries with the truth of the transfer of nature on bright, sunny days, the transmission of light and air. Grabar was fascinated by the problem of an open air – painting in the open air. Hence his sympathy for the Impressionists.

But in his works, despite the love of the French painters, Grabar remained a truly Russian artist, never tired of admiring his native nature, which determined

the patriotic content of his early works. After the revolution, Grabar actively joined in the creation of socialist culture. A great scholar-historian of art, tireless propagandist of the great heritage of Russian artistic culture, he did not abandon the painter’s brush until his death. His talent grew stronger, and his work became richer and more versatile. Now he acted not only as a landscape painter, but also as a subtle and profound portraitist, as a master of the historical-revolutionary picture. Without losing trembling vitality, Grabar’s landscapes become more definite by their plastic qualities, by the solution of space and the light and air environment. The content of Grabar’s landscapes is also changing.

Here is the painting “On the Lake”. The main thing here is the transfer of triumphant power and liberty of nature. Everything in this landscape seems to be significant: both a group of trees of the first plan, and a vast expanse, and the boundless expanse of the heavens. The picture is full of movement: the trees are fluttering with the wind, dazzling white clouds are flying across the sky, fast shadows glide along the grass. The artist seems to say that the world around him is beautiful in his perpetual motion, in the endless change of impressions that he gives to man.

By simple means, Grabar creates a sense of the majesty of a modest landscape motif. On the shore of the lake he places a figure of the rider. It seems very small in comparison with trees occupying almost the whole plane of the canvas. This figure is necessary for the artist to reinforce the impression of the depth of space that goes to the opposite shore of the lake. It is known that in the landscape it is difficult to convey the sense of the time of its creation. But there is no doubt that a great artist can, without depicting characteristic time signs, give the viewer a sense of those thoughts that worry his contemporaries, those feelings that overwhelm them. Similarly, Grabar is able to create in his landscape works an idea of our era – the era of daring, free and joyful perception of life. Such thoughts and feelings are caused by the picture “On the Lake”. This work was created in those years when the Soviet people, inspired by the victorious revolution, believed in their strength, took the first steps in building a new society. Full of enthusiasm, he confidently went to the future, promising a happy, happy life. In the landscape of Grabar, we feel this boldness, this freedom and this power.

Optimistic in its emotional content Grabar’s art attracts a healthy and clear sense of reality. Does the artist write a park filled with summer sunshine, a bouquet of flowers covered with snow-blinding land on a cold, winter day, he always acts as a lover, rejoicing around him, singing enthusiastic hymns to life. The picture “Winter sunny day” is separated from the “Lake” for fifteen years. But time does not seem to be powerful over the artist. And in the later work Grabar appears an optimistic artist, who is immensely pleased with everything that appears before his eyes. The motif of the picture “Winter sunny day” is very simple: a rare birch forest and a snow shroud in the foreground, in the distance a dark strip of forest, looking through the branches a clear blue of the cold sky. The composition creates a feeling of peace.

The space unfolds along the canvas, the calm horizontals are slightly disturbed by scattered trees and diagonally drifting snowdrifts. And yet the landscape of Grabar can not be called peaceful and frozen. The impression of inner tension, intense life of nature is achieved thanks to a radiant color, intense color combinations. Transparent blue shadows and a dark strip of forest on the horizon emphasize the blinding whiteness of snow, illuminated by the sun, pure sky of the sky beautifully shades snow-white trunks of birches. Everything in this landscape lives, sparkles, plays.

In this game, in this magic of the forest, dressed in a radiant winter dress, the enthusiastic feeling of the artist, his love for life, for his native nature finds expression. In his autobiography, the artist talked about the ecstasy that he experienced when he met his homeland after returning in 1901 from abroad: “Only then did I feel,” Grabar wrote, “how dear to me my native land is.” I was just in love with every a birch tree, lawns, gullies, and coppices that have not been seen for a long time, but I was especially shocked by the first Russian winter that I saw after a long break – white, sunny, and, most of all, the fabulous magnificence of hoarfrost, I forgot everything, and, having settled for many years in a village wilderness, with occasional trips to the mountains d, from morning to evening sitting in the air before folding easel, trying to unravel the mystery of our dear, dear,

These words perfectly reveal the character of Grabar’s landscape creativity, his reverent and enthusiastic attitude towards Russian nature. In it, he finds an inexhaustible source of inspiration, to which he refers in those moments when it is necessary to fill the creative powers of the artist, when he needs new deep impressions. Creativity Grabar is an interesting page in the history of Soviet art. His sincere paintings, marked by great skill and – most importantly – a deep sense, entered the golden fund of our artistic culture.

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