On the plowed field. Spring by Alexei Venetsianov

On the plowed field. Spring by Alexei Venetsianov

The canvas “In arable, Spring” – one of the most famous paintings by Venetsianov – was written shortly after “Gumna”. Its name changed with time: “Woman, harrowing field,” then – “Peasant in the field, leading the horses,” after that – “Village woman with horses.” The current name behind the picture was fixed after the creation of several subsequent paintings of the series “Seasons”, which included the canvas “On the plowland.” Spring.

For the depiction of rural reality the picture looks strange. The

woman is somewhat taller than the horses, which she seems to be gambling about, an unrealistic gait, the unexpected grace of the figure. With the general background of early spring, the child, sitting on the edge of the field in one thin shirt, and wreaths of flowers of the unusual cornflower blue for this time of the year, scattered around him, contrast sharply.

But how well these “oddities” are combined with an amazing landscape – the first landscape in Russian painting, which depicts Russian nature! Venetsianov was the first Russian painter to see the harmony of his native fields. Rare clouds are drawn to the horizon along a low sky, with a barely perceptible roundness the horizon appears, the thin silhouettes of trees gleam transparently.

A woman with horses on this field is not alone. In the left part of the picture, another pair of horses goes to the depth of space, led by a peasant woman. On the horizon, just to the left of the stump, the third group disappears in the distance. Women and horses move along the circle formed by them, along the brown earth, under the low sky. It remains only to throw one more look at this picture to understand: the great mystery of the world cycle is being realized on the field – and it is the artist who captures it.

In addition to the village types and scenes of folk life, Venetsianov painted portraits and paintings of religious content. The most famous are “Communion of the dying” and “Guessing on cards”. In the 1830’s. in St. Petersburg an exhibition of 32 paintings by the artists of the Venice School is organized.

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