Viktor Mikhailovich Vasnetsov (1848-1926) automatic translate
Victor Mihajlovich Vasnetsov - the most talented painter, decorator, illustrator and architect became the founder of our special «Russian style», created at the junction of the historical genre and romantic tendencies, inspired by folklore and symbolism. Vasnetsov had a tremendous influence on the evolution of Russian fine arts in the era of the transition from peredvizhnichestva to modernity.
The hereditary priest
Victor Vasnetsov was born on May 15, 1848 in the village of Lopyal, Vyatka province. The father of the future artist - Mikhail Vasnetsov Vasnetsov was a hereditary father. Two years after the birth of Victor, the priest received a parish in the village of Ryabovo, located in the same district. It was there, in the future and passed the childhood of the painter. The family of a village priest lived, like the rest of the peasants, poorly and simply. Victor had five brothers, since their mother died very early, all together helped his father to manage the farm.
Being a widely educated man, Father Michael strove to give all his children a comprehensive upbringing. He taught them literacy and arithmetic, and also tried to develop in them inquisitiveness of mind and observation. Vasnetsovs liked reading scientific journals, doing woodcarving and drawing with watercolors.
Harsh nature, a separate way of life, folk beliefs, ancient customs, fairy tales and village songs of the severe Vyatka region, formed both the life and artistic worldview of the future artist. Victor and his brother Apollinarius (also engaged in painting) absorbed this fabulous atmosphere of the «legends of the old days», which later became the main feature of their work.
According to the established family tradition, all the sons in the Vasnetsov family had to continue the work of their ancestors and become priests. Therefore, in 1858, Mikhail Vasilievich gave his eldest son Victor to a religious school, which he graduated in 1862, then went to the class of the Vyatka Theological Seminary.
There, in addition to the Holy Scriptures, he also studied iconography. Lessons of church painting to seminarians were spent by artist NA Chernyshev, who had an icon painting workshop in Vyatka. Vasnetsov spent a lot of time with his teacher, visited the city museum and made many sketches. Later, in the house of Chernyshev, he met with the exiled Polish artist Elviro Andriolli, who became a true friend and mentor to young Victor. Under his guidance, Vasnetsov wrote his first works. He was also his official assistant, participating in the painting of the temple that had lain in Vyatka. Andriolli told the young man about the Petersburg Academy of Arts, from which came out many famous Russian painters. Vasnetsov, who dreamed of painting, decided to try his luck and take the entrance exams to this educational institution.
The money for the trip to the capital Vasnetsov did not have, and then Andriolli, using the help of his fellow countryman, Professor Krasinsky, arranged a lottery for the rich townspeople, during which two amateur works of young talent were sold. Having received, thus, a little money, the young man left the penultimate course in the seminary and with the blessing of Mikhail Vasilyevich and the rector, went to Petersburg.
Arrival to St. Petersburg
In 1867, Vasnetsov successfully passed the entrance examinations to the Petersburg Academy of Arts, but because of doubts about his own abilities, he did not even begin to learn the result. Confident of failure, Victor wandered around the city in search of work and housing. He decided at all costs to stay in St. Petersburg to try to enter the academy the next year.
Accidentally met the brother of his benefactor Professor Krasinsky, the young man with his support received the post of draftsman in the capital’s cartographic institution. At the same time, he began attending the School of the Society for the Encouragement of Artists on the Stock Exchange. It was there that he became acquainted with the young teacher IN Kramskoy and his fellow students - the painter IE Repin and the sculptor M. Antokolsky.
In the summer of next year, Vasnetsov, feeling confident in his own skills, again went on to pass the entrance examinations to the Academy of Arts. Imagine his surprise when he was informed that he was enrolled in college students last year! For the first year of training Victor received a well-deserved award - a silver medal. The young man closely met young talented artists VD Polenov, AI Kuindzhi, VI Surikov and others. He successfully coped with all the tasks and was noted for his student work by the famous professor PP Chistyakov. Already during his studies, Vasnetsov had good orders from publishing houses to perform drawings to various works: everyday stories, alphabets and fairy tales.
Fate forced Victor to leave the academy for the time being. In 1870, the artist’s father passed away, and he had to go to Ryabovo to take care of his brothers. Victor returned to the capital not alone, but with his younger brother Apollinarius.
These changes meant that now the student Vasnetsov had to work even harder to somehow provide his brother. Because of this, he began to go irregularly to the Academy classes, and soon completely gave up lectures and lessons. As a result, Victor did not even take final exams and in 1874 received a clerical certificate stating that he was «among the pupils of the Academy.»
Engaged in book graphics professionally since 1868, Victor Vasnetsov reached to 1875 great successes in this field. He decided to join the newly established «Association of Traveling Art Exhibitions» to try his hand at critical realism. This society consisted of masters who, being carried away by the people’s ideas, sought to show in their works the hard life of poor peasants and townspeople, as well as the main social problems of the country.
The noble intentions and progressive views of the Association were warmly supported by the Russian intelligentsia. The association included Kramskoy, Repin, Polenov, Kuindzhi, Surikov and many other famous artists. Viktor Mikhailovich, who felt from his childhood that such a peasant labor, after moving to St. Petersburg every day, watched the life of poor townspeople. He wrote a number of works that were consonant with the works of the Wanderers. These are such works as the «Book Shop» (1876, the State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow), «Beggars Singers (Bogomoltsy)» (1873, Kirov Regional Art Museum named after VM and AM Vasnetsov) and «C apartments for an apartment «(1876, the State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow). These multi-figured compositions perfectly convey all the bitterness and instructive truth of life, and the portraits presented in them show the artist’s high artistic level. But the painter was acutely aware of the lack of knowledge, and immediately responded to the invitation of Repin to come to Paris. Repin himself, being a brilliant graduate of the Academy of Arts, traveled to Europe at the expense of an educational institution.
And so, in March 1876, Vasnetsov, who received an order in the illustration to E.V. Vodovozova’s book «The Life of European Peoples», went to France.
Arriving in Paris almost without money, but supported by fellow artists, Victor Mikhailovich began with meticulousness to study the collection of the Louvre and follow the impressionistic discoveries of young French painters.
The influence of impressionists is clearly felt in the picture created by him in France «Acrobats at a holiday in the environs of Paris» (1877, the State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow). The stretched plastic dancer in the left part of the picture seemed to have left the works of the Edgar Degas ballet series. In the spring of 1877, Vasnetsov exhibited this work at the annual Paris Salon, without having achieved much success. Returning to Russia in a year, the artist presented «Acrobats» at the next exhibition of the Wanderers. Emperor Alexander III, seeing this picture, bought it for his collection. In November of the same year, the painter married a countrywoman, a native of Vyatka province, Alexandra Vladimirovna Ryazantseva. She graduated from the women’s medical courses in the capital medical and surgical academy, a modest educated girl devoted herself entirely to the family. And in 1878, Vasnetsov was officially accepted into the ranks of the Association of Wanderers. Then, after Repin and Polenov, Vasnetsov moved with his wife and brother from Petersburg to Moscow.
The innumerable temples and patriarchal spirit of this ancient city, its diverse in style huts, palaces and mansions to the depths of the soul struck the painter. He enthusiastically sketched the Kremlin, various Moscow monasteries and temples.
Soon the artist received an order from the ethnographer VA Dashkov, former director of the Moscow Public and Rumyantsev Museum, to create a series of portraits of famous Russian figures from surviving historical engravings. Among the images written by the master were such historical figures as the patriarch Hermogen II, the teacher of Peter I NM Zotov, Prince DM Pozharsky and F. Ya. Lefort. Thanks to this work, Viktor Mikhailovich was increasingly immersed in the atmosphere of legends and antiquity. He had the opportunity to touch the historical relics, immerse himself in the extraordinary atmosphere of the past centuries.
An important role in the life of Vasnetsov was played by the famous Moscow patron and industrialist SI Mamontov, a talented and educated man, fond of art and history. In Abramtsevo, a Mamontov estate near Moscow, artists, scientists and writers often gathered, often discussing various historical events, reading ancient manuscripts recently found by archaeologists. All this inspired Vasnetsov, who fell in love with the seminar lectures «The Lay of Igor’s Campaign,» and wrote a series of historical and epic paintings. The very first work of the series was the painting «After the Battle of Igor Svyatoslavich with the Polovtsians», (1880, State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow).
On the canvas, we see the bodies of Russian warriors, lying in the dull sky on a green grass carpet, struck by enemy spears and arrows. And above them, as if fighting for the souls of the fallen righteous, long-winged vultures that are a symbol of devilry are beating. The faces of the dead heroes are calm and harsh. The center of the whole composition was a young prince, pierced by an arrow in the chest. The motif of courage and heroism in the struggle against the conquerors was created by several alarming red accents. It should be noted that the painter performed all the historical details of the work - weapons, armor and other things of the knights - reliably and accurately, thanks to the painstaking study of the exposition of the Historical Museum. The ornaments depicted on the canvas, such as embroidery on the prince’s white shirt or the decorative cape of the warrior lying to his right, convey the atmosphere of epic legends. Evening landscape with a dim sunset sun and dark, as if sepulchral shadows, thrust from the horizon, is harmonious with the tragic events of the picture. The sensation of heroism, the greatness of Russian soldiers and deadly anguish is intensified by the display of a wide-spread plan, where among the dense green grass the master displayed drooping daisies, drooping bells and crumpled cornflowers. They give a romantic lyrical note to the whole work.
But modern artists criticized this work. Ambiguous reaction has caused it and the audience, expecting from the new Moscow painter quite different, ideological and moral works on peasant subjects. Only a few, among them a good friend Vasnetsova Repin and professor of Chistyakov Academy, appreciated in the canvas a grandiose and original spirit capable of stirring up the Russian soul and making it empathize and feel proud.
Fairy tales and epics
Not too positive reaction to the work «After the massacre of Igor Svyatoslavich with the Polovtsians» could not force the master to abandon the idea of creating a series of historical and epic paintings. More and more, the artist’s work reflected a fascination with archaeological discoveries, antiquities and national folklore. On the fairy-tale theme was written the work «Carpet-plane» (1880, Nizhny Novgorod Art Museum), created for the work of SI Mamontov, with all his means and connections in every possible way supported gifted individuals.
The work is surprisingly intertwined motifs of Russian and Arabian fairy tales. On a bright oriental carpet, covered with ancient Russian patterns, over dense forests, marshes and rivers proudly rushes Ivan Tsarevich, illuminating his path with a giant lantern. This is the image of a locomotive invented by foreigners and used to illuminate and pave the way for a Russian person on the familiar off-road. Such a comparison is not accidental: at this time, Mamontov himself led the construction and operation of the northern and southern lines of Russian railways.
The painter was able to reliably convey the texture of the luxurious, silk-dyed costume of the prince, the pile of the patterned carpet and the thick glass of the burning lantern, beyond which, with a close look, one can see not the flame, but the Firebird flapping its golden wings.
In the summer, the Vasnetsovs rented the Akhtyrka estate, which was not far from Abramtsevo, thanks to which they spent a lot of time with Mamontov’s family. Brothers-artists often walked in the woods, where the elder brooded over the plot of the Russian fairy tale about «Sister Alenushka and Brother Ivanushka.» There they also worked in the open air. Podmoskovnaya nature produced a romantic-fabulous impression on Viktor Mikhailovich, here he saw not only a magnificent landscape for his future work, but also the heroine herself.
It was like this: one day on the forest path the artist met a grief-stricken local girl, whose look was so melancholy that Vasnetsov immediately realized that before him was the «same» Alyonushka.
The master made several sketches of a small, barefooted peasant woman, squeezed into a lump. The work itself, called «Alyonushka» (1881, the State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow), Vasnetsov created already in the Moscow workshop. Sitting on the rock near the pond is a simple-haired girl, she thought about her bitter fate. Pale gray sky, flying aspen, thorny «paws» of Christmas trees and the dark surface of a pond with yellow leaves floating on it perfectly convey its depressed state.
The thick surface of the whirlpool does not reflect the grieving heroine, but as if dragging it into itself. Predatory «arrows» of grass sticking out of the water, as if they are ready to pierce her body and hands. The master did not just write a lyrical artistic image from a fairy tale about her sister Alenushka and her brother Ivanushka, he showed the soul of the Russian people with extraordinary soulfulness on canvas. And again, presented at the Ninth traveling exhibition, the picture made an ambiguous impression. Visitors of the exhibition unanimously expressed their admiration for the amazing gift of the artist, but critics, including the famous art connoisseur and patron of art Tretyakov, expressed rather caustic remarks.
Constantly visiting Mamontov in his estate, Vasnetsov soon became interested in architectural creativity. Maecenas planned to build a house church on the territory of his park and invited his friends-artists to develop a project for her. Polenov recommended that Savva Ivanovich take the Novgorod church of the Savior of Nereditsky as a model. Vasnetsov, having joined his colleague in competition, created his sketch of the temple in the spirit of Moscow architecture. It is this architectural development that Mamontov and his family most liked most of all.
Soon the artist, with the support of the inhabitants, guests and regulars Abramtzevo built in the estate a one-domed church of the Savior Not Made by Hands (1881 year -). The appearance of a small white stone building, connected with the belfry, was joined by several architectural schools. Decorated with majolica, like Yaroslavl temples, and carved patterned cornice under the roof of the roof, like most of the Vladimir cathedrals, the church has oval windows in the spirit of Moscow architecture.
Icons and the iconostasis were also created by Mamontov’s friends: the painters Polenov, Repin and, naturally, the author of the project. In addition to the temple, Vasnetsov built an unusual park gazebo in Abramtsevo in the form of a real «hut on chicken legs», which led to the indescribable delight of the children of the owner of the estate.
But the mind of Viktor Mikhailovich was constantly occupied with the idea of the historical-bylina cycle of paintings. The work «Knight at the Crossroads» (1882, the State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg), the artist conceived many years ago. The creation of this large-scale work required that Vasnetsov carefully study not only the entire exposition of the Armory Chamber of the Moscow Kremlin, but also old books from the public library.
The canvas «The Knight at the Crossroads» is not only an attempt to depict the epic hero, but also the creation of a true Russian national character in all its glory and strength. The warrior of the painter sits on a tired horse of bogatyr. He looks sadly at the «waypoint» boulder, the ancient Slavonic inscription on it reads: «if you go straight, you will not be able to walk either on foot or on horseback.» Continuation of the famous phrases from Russian tales - «go right - to be married» and «left - the rich» are not visible to the audience: their master had hidden beneath the moss covering the lower part of the stone. A lone knight wearily lowered his spear and, foreseeing the inevitable, inspects lying on the bones and skulls of dead warriors battle. For him, the temptations of other road closed ahead of only one direct way - die defending the homeland. Psychological philosophical meanings struck contemporary work.
Love of history
At the same time, in 1882, Vasnetsov, enthusiastically studied Russian history and folklore, has received a new order for the development and construction of scenic frieze for the building of the Moscow Historical Museum. He supervised the construction, the chairman of the Moscow Archaeological Society A. S. Uvarov suggested painter display in the sketch characteristic classes of primitive man. Vasnetsov immediately seek the advice of Anthropology and Ethnography. Soon, his workshop came the ax of the Stone Age and this mammoth tusk. As models of primitive people the artist posed his young colleagues V. A. Serov and K. A. Korovin, also a frequent guest at Mammoth.
The composition of the frieze master conditionally divided into two parts. The first - «Stone Age» (1882, State Historical Museum, Moscow) - shows the parking lot of people of the Paleolithic era. We see the cave at the entrance of which sit teens, hewing stone knives, mammoth tusks and arrowheads. In the center of the group is a shaggy gray tribal elder, make fire strikes the silicon pieces. Another teenager, standing to the left and pulled the bow string, hoping to shoot a bird flying by. To the right stands the heroic figure of the muscular coat of the hunter in Mammoth, in one hand he holds a spear in the other - a stone ax.
Combative and intense gaze leader said that he is concerned about the protection of the tribe from attack strangers. Incredibly reliable interpretation of all the images allows Vasnetsov convince the viewer the reality of the moment. The coloring of this work is built on a delicate combination of close ocher, brown, blue-gray and greenish colors. Monochrome structure of the work «enliven» the exact distribution of the plane almost bright black accents. Frieze created by the artist made an indelible impression not only on his fellow artists, but also to closely monitor the work of his professor of the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts P. P. Chistyakova, and professor of St. Petersburg and Kiev universities and art restorer AV Prahova.
Last Vasnetsov has offered to participate in the church interior painting of the new Cathedral of St. Vladimir, Build in Kiev, but he refused. But the master has presented on public display next Epic-fabulous job «Three princess of the Underworld» (1884, National Museum of Russian Art, Kiev). The basis of the plot of this tale has become beautiful works of Ivdnushka later realm of the dead (underground) in search of his mother. There the hero met three beautiful girls, embodying wealth bowels of the earth, hidden from the people: gold and precious stone and copper. The artist has replaced the traditional fairy tale image of the girl-copper on coal, symbolizing the energy of motion and heat.
These fairy princesses, and brought to the light of day out of the dungeon Ivan. Arrogant girl-Gold, as it should be displayed in a shiny brocade dress and headdress trimmed with pink pearls. Girl - Jewel standing in burgundy sundress embroidered with sapphires, emeralds and jasper. Not her hair and breasts heavy massive decorations. Unlike her sisters, girl - Coal presented in strict black dress and bareheaded. She is not in the hands of the white silk scarf, like all the other princesses, because she was not a lady, but a simple worker, over her head winds bluish flame.
A bit dull rocky landscape painted flat, like a backdrop, a stage backdrop. In the background portrait female characters look particularly expressive and psychological.
Etalon temple murals
The artist was peculiar to create monumental works and large-scale, perhaps, so after a while he wrote a letter Prahova, offering their services on the painting of the new Kiev temple of the Holy Prince Vladimir.
But first, in May 1885 the master went through Warsaw and Vienna directly to Italy, in order to see firsthand the works of famous artists of the Renaissance. Returning to the end of the summer in Kiev, the artist immediately started to create preliminary sketches. He would fully draw the central nave, with apse altarpiece, the dome and the rest of the wall fragments of a total area of about three thousand square meters. A little later joined by Vasnetsov M. V. Nesterov, AS Mamontov, M. A. Vrubel, Svedomsky brothers and other painters. But it is the style of Viktor Mikhailovich was decisive in the decoration of the cathedral.
The painter has created images of the «Virgin and Child», located in the apse above the altar, multi-figured composition «Last Judgment», performed at the entrance to the choir of the temple, and the main «theme» frescoes - «The baptism of Prince Vladimir» (1885-1896 year, the State Russian Museum art, Kiev) and «The Baptism of Rus’ (1885, State Tretyakov gallery, Moscow). For their creation the artist several times re-read «The Tale of Bygone Years», absorbing all of the described features of Korsun temples.
After all, Prince Vladimir was baptized in one of the Crimean cities to subdue him - Korsun, immediately after he was suddenly struck by blindness. Vasnetsov was able to perfectly reflect the psychological characteristics of the characters, creating the impression of an exciting incident of miraculous healing of Prince, who exclaims in prayerful ecstasy: «Now I have seen the truth of God!». At the same dome of the church painter placed a depiction of «Christ the Almighty» (1885, State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow). In his left hand - the disclosure of the gospel, and his right hand raised in blessing. Behind the calm and the divine face of Christ the starry sky, flecked with a light haze of clouds.
It should be noted that the temple painting brush Vasnetsov has a certain flatness performance backgrounds. This technique is the author used to harmonize the three-dimensional shapes with planes of the walls. As already noted, all the paintings of the church were written at different times by different artists. To create a complete and coherent image of each temple mural framed developed Vasnetsov decorative bezel, which is a carefully designed and fabulous in its expression ornamental decoration.
At the very Vasnetsov scenes with canonical images are created in a strict academic manner, but the images of Russian saints are close to folk art. In the sketch, «the only begotten son of God’s Word» (1885- 1896 years, the State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow), we see the features of art nouveau, which appeared in the winged heavenly forces and truly mysterious figure of the Lord.
On the whole a great job on the painting of St. Prince Vladimir in Vasnetsov took about ten years. Much of that time the artist lived in Kiev alone, without friends and family, although sometimes he helped the younger brother Apollinaris. Painter always attracted to the work of many of his friends - Serov, Polenov.
The undisputed success of temple murals Vasnetsov created a furor. Press the end of the XIX century frescoes dedicated numerous studies and articles. Images and stories of icons and painting of the cathedral gained enormous popularity, and later, they repeated many times in many churches being built in Russia. But a little later, at the beginning of the XX century, when they were published and the opening of research on aboriginal ancient Russian icon, against Christian paintings Vasnetsov increasingly began to sound very negative reviews. But, despite this, the creation of a large picturesque ensemble embodied in the remarkable wholeness impression produced decoration Vladimir Cathedral, still has great significance for Russian art.
Immersion in a fairy tale
Back in 1891 in Moscow, Vasnetsov bought a small plot of land on the street Meshchanskaya (in the 3rd Trinity Lane) and began the construction of his house. Sketch Master dwelling has developed itself, but for the realization of multi-style palace-towers in the life of a professional architect hired. During this period, the artist returned to the creation of its Epic-fairy paintings.
The plot works, «Ivan Tsarevich on the Gray Wolf» (1889, State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow) Vasnetsov taken from cheap popular books of the XVIII century, tells of Prince Ivan, his fiancee Elena the Fair and the Gray Wolf. The artist depicted the moment of escape narrowed riding on the right animal that carried an arrow through the gloomy swamps and thick forest.
Awareness of possible gives chase heroes determination, but difficult journey has left its mark on the tired faces of lovers. Ivan Tsarevich in embroidered brocade coat and black gloves cuddle Elena the Fair, dressed in a pale blue silk dress. All items indicate the rapidity of wolf movement. In the distance, through the thick trunks of trees, you can see the blue sky. And next to the protagonists of his paintings the artist has depicted the white flowers of wild apple trees, which have become a symbol of the magic of nature to the location of the young lovers.
This work was presented at the Seventeenth painter traveling exhibition, which was held in St. Petersburg and, finally, received rave reviews and from colleagues and critics. Now, thank Victor Mikhailovich as a talented artist reached its climax. Vasnetsov was awarded the title of professor of painting, becoming a full member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts.
The artist continued to create paintings on historical and national folk stories, constantly going on in the workshop of his new house in Moscow. «Sirin and Alkonost. Song of joy and sorrow «(1896, State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow) shows us an image of the human soul, which together get along good and evil, carefree joy of life and the inevitability of death. Birds of paradise Sirin and Alkonost with beautiful female faces and bodies of birds, with huge wings and clawed carnivorous paws. Their images for the first time found another ancient Slavonic embroidery, metal and wooden ornaments, dated X - XII centuries and carvings stonework St. George’s Cathedral, whose construction was carried out in Yuriev-Polsky in the XIII century. This fabulous bird is not the epitome of good or evil, it’s just rushing soul, yet mindful of paradise, but all of it banished.
I was at Vasnetsov and stage experience. For the first time, the artist tried his hand at the theater during the opening of private opera Mamontov in 1884. Master wrote a watercolor sketch of «The Mermaid» underwater towers from the opera A. S. Dargomyzhskogo. The rest of the scenery for this production were performed I. I. Levitanom. Then, in 1885, Viktor Mikhailovich brilliantly designed the opera «Snow Maiden» by Rimsky-Korsakov, delivered in the same, which has become well-known Moscow theater.
In the future, it is the image created by Vasnetsov, was recognized as the standard for this performance around the world. Viktor Mikhailovich was able not only to convey the realism and drama of fantastic images, but also to create a unique atmosphere of legends and true Russian spirit. The inherent contradictions of Russian national character, always interested in the artist.
A striking example of psychological expressiveness can be considered a portrait of the «King Ivana Vasilevicha Groznogo» (1897, State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow), made in bright decorative manner. The artist gave him the king’s extreme expressiveness. This man is certainly clever, crafty, unscrupulous, but nevertheless is anointed of God to the Russian throne that emphasized domes of churches - a view from the window of his room.
The king stood on the steps of his palace, covered with a red carpet. His leg is about to come on embroidered on the carpet of double-headed eagle. Ivana Groznogo portrait painter, studied meticulously for his works of historical relics, written not with ancient parsuna and icons depicting the Russian monarch, but with the image created by F. I. Shalyapinym in the opera «The Maid of Pskov» by Rimsky-Korsakov, on the sets to which Vasnetsov worked with Korovin.
In 1899, the artist, based on its own designs of decorative, paints a picture «Snow Maiden» (State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow). On snowy glade cold dark forest in painted brocade coat stands confused girl - the daughter of Father Frost and Spring-red, going to the human world. This is a fabulous product has become one of the most recognizable in all the works of the painter.
The greatness of the Russian spirit
Perhaps the most important work of Viktora Mihaylovicha Vasnetsova is a large-scale painting «Heroes» (1881-1898 years, the State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow). From the ideas of the story in the form of a pencil sketch and complete incarnation on a huge canvas it has been almost thirty years. Even after the acquisition of the famous philanthropist P. M. Tretyakovym, place it in the public gallery, the painter went on for some time to make amendments.
It is known that the three main figures of epic defenders Russia - Ili Muromtsa, Aleshi Popovicha and Dobrynya Nikitich master created from sitters, fully dressed in real clothing of ancient heroes, borrowed from the store of the Historical Museum.
Bogatyr Ilya of Murom was written in Abramtsevo, this image of the artist posed Vladimir burly farmer. The second soldier - Dobrynya Nikitich steel Connection portrait images V. D. Polenova, the artist’s father Michael and his own self-portrait. Background works: high hills covered with dense forests under overcast cloudy sky, lush grass and young spruce, interspersed with a pile of gray stones, is a collective image of the suburban landscape with the northern latitudes vyat and Ukrainian steppes.
On the canvas is clearly seen that the horse every mighty warrior of a similar nature with the owner. Thus, the powerful crow fearless warrior Ili Muromtsa squint eye, bloodshot, white horse suave and cunning Dobryni sensitively sniffs the wind, while the undersized horse swashbuckling Aleshi Popovicha pulling a harp with him in the campaign, pricked ears, nibbling grass. All this produces a general impression of solemn generous and fearless force capable of independently and voluntarily protect the homeland from attack any enemies.
In recent years the passing of the XIX century Vasnetsov, devoted occupation easel painting, again turned his attention to book illustrations and architecture. The artist, once again, demonstrated the versatility of his talent by creating a project for the Russian pavilion at the World Exhibition in Paris. According to the draft master pavilion was designed in the style of the princely palace or towers. Point painter old Russian architectural motifs were subsequently repeated them in creating a facade for the Tretyakov Gallery.
At the same time, Moscow and St. Petersburg are preparing to celebrate the centenary of the birth of the great Russian poet - A. S. Pushkina. In honor of this celebration, it planned to release a lot of gift editions of Alexander Sergeyevich.
Vasnetsov was commissioned to design the publication of «Song of Wise Oleg». He had to develop illustrations and ornamentation to the text.
Work «meeting with Oleg magician» (1899, State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow) and «Farewell Oleg with a horse» (1899, State Literature Museum, Moscow), are graphic compositions made in the form of ancient miniatures. Gracefully bowed heads dlinnogrivyh horses, bright colorful characters and mystical images create an atmosphere of epic poetry, perfectly in harmony with the majestic lines of Pushkin.
The artist also performed, emphasized decorative capital letters and endings, thus giving the entire work style of handwritten medieval books. This underlines the fact that Vasnetsov fabulous character were not only the story of the web. Magic in his work looks almost anything. Even his landscapes painted separately.
Painting «Northern Land» (1899, State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg), where we see a gloomy, mossy pine forests and blue winding river, as if covered with a thin layer of ice, shows us the atmosphere of the ancient Nordic tales. Uneven skyline, high angle images and more realistic letters and create a truthful image of the vast capacious native land. However, an anthropomorphic form of many trees, the viscosity of the gray-green of the earth and overall impression of the landscape and the magical mystery of the severe nature.
Although it is known that is all the scenery Vasnetsov are currently beginning of plein air. Many elements of mystery in the landscape backgrounds, signs of the past time and archaeologically accurate details used in its genre paintings, and many other artists, but only Vasnetsov Russian past is depicted not as a reality but as a real fairy tale.
Ornaments and intonation
In the product Vasnetsov «Bayan» (1910, State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg), we see a funeral feast, attended by heroes, gray-haired narrator-psaltery player and the young prince. The choice of characters is not accidental - it symbolizes the transfer of epic stories by word of mouth, over the centuries, from father to son. The background landscape paintings sufficient conditions, but the artist meticulously worked armor and clothing of all heroes, as well as beautiful ornaments on their capes, boots and pants. In embroidery white shirt Bayan we learn ancient Slavic motif that Vasnetsov previously used when creating Berendeys costumes for the opera «Snow Maiden». Absolutely everything, and the Bayan harp and wooden Bratina, and his cup of wine, and even a tombstone have a variety of patterns and symbols. Magnificent ornament, which the master in every easel works, architectural designs, pictures, and even the church wall paintings attached great importance, it is a kind of individual «handwriting», which he donated, perhaps, only in one of its work. In 1917, it was written at the same time dark and surprisingly dynamic and powerful painting «Baba Yaga» (House-Museum V. M. Vasnetsova, Moscow).
On the canvas, against predatory intertwining branches and trunks of trees in a mortar with a broom sweeps scary bared Baba Yaga. Armpit witch holding a frightened boy barefoot, close, flying owl, rolling his large eyes, and below, on the marshy shore, one can see the bones and skeletons of dead animals.
In the picture there are only three light bright spots - white shirt innocent child, lilac-pink glow of distant fires, and bulk red skirt half-naked witches. Color skirt symbolic and is not selected by chance. The work was created in the year when the country’s October Revolution took place, most likely it carries is the emotional attitude of the artist to these terrible events.
Liked the patriarchal way of life and their country, deeply religious Vasnetsov, I did not accept the new socialist system. Workers and peasants, who actively fought for the Soviet power, bared their shoulders and applied to suit the elements that symbolize the red flag. This artist has displayed in the picture. Very symbolic and that the evil seems uncomfortable, but on one knee, sitting on the edge of the stupa, its rapid flight looks very convincing.
In the country there were revolutionary and military events, but the master continued to create paintings on the epic favorite subjects. However, purplish-red color in his palette now become much more intense. The artist painted them and the blazing sky fairy and monster flame spew dishonest, such as in the «Fight Dobryni Nikiticha with the seven-headed serpent Gorynych» (1918, House-Museum V. M. Vasnetsova, Moscow). Vasnetsov does not show the face of Knight, because in a fight with an unknown force fearless and confident, he could not get. In the upper part of the canvas we see a gray-green scaly snake with a paw predatory compressed, intertwined long necks and toothy maw. The contrast of dark green and of a dull red color emphasizes the atmosphere of tension.
The country began the hunger. Viktor Mikhailovich was not enough, not only the canvases and paints - nothing was to heat the house and workshop. In Moscow, for a piece of bread the inhabitants gave their family jewels and curiosities, but the artist continued to paint.
Painting «The Frog Princess» (1918, House-Museum V. M. Vasnetsova, Moscow) was another product on the fairy-tale theme, which clearly read the artist’s despair gripped. Princess, the dumping of frog skin, ecstatically dancing, dressed in a green brocade dress, while the balalaika and Guslar keen to play their instruments. A young girl is in the painted red mansion, everything around is painted in various shades of this color, until the musicians wear. The princess stands with his back to the viewer, so that her dance «aimed» toward the open space a bright terrace. There, in the distance, on the opposite bank of the river, and visible gay village festivities in the water. Geese flying high in the sky, bowed their long necks toward the girl, filled with an atmosphere of unbridled joy anxiety and drama.
Vasnetsov, who was one of the best religious painters, in 1922, when the country’s leadership, the Council started active atheist propaganda, undertook the restoration of the Church of the Holy Trinity on Samotechnaya street.
The artist still enjoyed recognition. In 1924, his paintings on mythological and fairy stories were selected and sent to a government commission to participate in the exhibition of Russian art in America. Master continued to participate in the life of the homeland, but in his works no longer felt any Russian power nor the courage, nor the dynamism and dedication.
Figures of the main characters in the movie «Magic Carpet» (1919-1926 years, the House-Museum V. M. Vasnetsova, Moscow) - Prince Ivan and Helen, flying against the backdrop of alarming scarlet sky, look absolutely motionless and sad, though, according to story tale lovers just escaped from enemies. The idea of escape is the main and the «Sivka-Burka» (1917-1926 years, the House-Museum V. M. Vasnetsova, Moscow). But somehow the magic horse that can get one jump in a high tower, even despite the fact that his rider waving coat of gallop, looks stiff and unnatural.
The same theme of detachment and sadness felt in the film «Princess Nesmeyana» (1916-1926 years, the House-Museum V. M. Vasnetsova, Moscow), and canvas «Sleeping Princess» (1900-1926 years, the House-Museum. Vasnetsov, Moscow). At last, it shows a beautiful wooden palace, surrounded by a dark forest. And the princess on her snow-white throne, and her servant, and birds and beasts, immersed in wakeless sleep. The plot is a fusion of two similar works of literature: «Sleeping Beauty» Charles Perrault and «The Tale of the Dead Princess and the Seven Knights» by Pushkin. The composition unusually clearly manifested decorative talent Vasnetsov, because patterns and ornaments are decorated with everything: a luxurious brocade dress of the princess, and suits her servants and the buffoon, and dresses chernavok and sarafanchik little barefoot little girl, asleep on the steps in an embrace with the «Pigeon book. «
Even the bed on which spun yarn princess fatal, has patterned back, richly carved with images of deer, lions, griffins and Alcon. Pillars, walls, frames, arches and other architectural elements-towers of the palace are decorated with different bright colors and covered with all kinds of patterns. The abundance of symbolic details, such as fallen spindle or brocade slipper young princess, stuck into the ground stake with a wound on his black cloak and skull of a goat, even wallows distance poleax and helmet hero, and poppies, which have sprouted through cracks of the floorboards are designed to tell us that was preceded by a sad event.
Only painted human faces depicting a bride and groom, as well as decorating the central pillars of the terrace, offer hope for a revival of the princess, when they finally arrive here dear to her heart knight. These ancient Russian ornamental animal and floral motifs, which were previously used in other works of the painter, and even in the decoration of the temples here are connected into a single magical symphony of colors and expressive rhythms and graceful lines.
End of tale
All the work Viktora Mihaylovicha Vasnetsova, subject to the laws of old Russian beauty, was an important step in the development of neo-Russian style in national art, from which, subsequently, our Art Nouveau emerged. Painter said: «All great art that has become universal, grown on a national basis.» Vasnetsov’s works had a great influence on a whole generation of artists, and embodied in his paintings epic and fantastic images later became the basis for a variety of visual and plastic solutions to our national cinema.
A brilliant painter, decorator, illustrator and architect Viktor Mihaylovich Vasnetsov died in a house he built in Moscow, 23 July 1926. He is buried in the cemetery of Vedeno, and he created works have become a national treasure, reflecting the heroism of our people and the depth of the soul.