Red Madonna by Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin

Red Madonna by Kuzma Petrov Vodkin

Petrov-Vodkin is experimenting a lot in the field of composition. On his canvases he seeks to convey the unfinished movement, trying to create an image unfolded in time for the viewer. According to his plan, the viewer should see the beginning of the movement, which remained beyond the scope of the picture, and also understand how the dynamic situation depicted on the canvas will end.

In Soviet times, Petrov-Vodkin seeks to comprehend the essence of the historical turning point in the fate of the country, which is invariably reflected in his works. There is a peculiar understanding of reality, the subject of the paintings is a specific transfer of tragic and heroic life events. He creates thematic compositions, imbued with the harsh pathos of the revolutionary struggle, the idea of sacrifice for the future, writes analytically rigorous portraits, poetic, genre-portrait compositions revealing a sense of being full.

One of these paintings is the “Red Madonna”. It depicts a simple girl dressed in work clothes, standing against the open window. And behind the window is the construction of a “new bright future.” The symbolism of the picture is already in its name. Since the Early Renaissance, the image of the Madonna has always been associated with the image of a mother with a child in her arms.

In this case, the Madonna symbolizes a new type of Soviet woman, designed not only to bear and raise children, but also to take an active part in building a new way of life. It is no secret that in pre-revolutionary Russia, the role of women in the public life of the country was strictly limited to the framework of everyday life. And in no way were they allowed to solve any global problems, because even in a family where a man was in charge and controlled by everything, a woman was practically without rights.

Petrov-Vodkin wanted to emphasize that thanks to the events of the revolution, a woman became a full member of society. And it was on her huge hopes as a keeper of the hearth, capable of building and improving both their lives and the life of the whole country as a whole. Madonna in this case is perceived as the mother of all mankind.

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