The last years of his life Kuindzhi distanced himself from public activities – very little exhibited, very rarely showed his work even to friends. However, it is for this period that the unique creative searches of the master in the field of the nature of light and light and shade occur, since this area was extremely occupied by the artist.
The result of these searches and experiments was a landmark work – “The Sunset Effect”, written between 1885 and 1890. The picture is truly unique and original. A quick look at this work assures us that the landscape here is devoid of realistic features – it is fantastic, expressive. However, a longer contemplation of the picture makes you change your mind, at some point the viewer clearly understands – the artist is right and everything in the work is truthful and harmonious. It remains only to guess how many trials and errors were before the master achieved the desired effect.
The painting shows a landscape, brightly lit by unearthly light, pouring from somewhere above, which “crumbles” and is bizarrely reflected in snow, trees, on the ground.
Kuindzhi’s views on art in many ways anticipated his time – extraordinary sensitivity and sensuality to the light will find his admirers, imitators and followers much later. The achievements of the master will “sprout” in his pupils, fans of expressionistic tendencies, but today we know – one of the first was Arkhip Kuindzhi.