“Autumn landscape”, Mikhail Vasilievich Nesterov – overview of the painting

“Autumn landscape”, Mikhail Vasilievich Nesterov – overview of the painting
"Autumn landscape", Mikhail Vasilievich Nesterov - overview of the painting - 1

  • Posted by Mikhail Vasilievich Nesterov
  • Museum: Tretyakov Gallery
  • Year: 1906

Overview of the painting :

Autumn landscape – Mikhail Vasilievich Nesterov. Oil on canvas. 101x 134 cm

   It is difficult to attribute Nesterov’s work to a specific style, because Mikhail Vasilievich belonged to the course of a partnership of traveling exhibitions, or “advizhnikov” – an association of artists, which was denied by academic painting, advocating the rapprochement of art with the people. Representatives of this current are characterized by realism, naturalism and some drama in paintings, which is clearly expressed in Nesterov’s picture – “Autumn landscape”.

   The canvas is made in pastel colors, and, at first glance, contrast is not inherent in it. But if you look closely, you can notice how the master plays with the transitions of cold and warm shades. Similarly, the author combined different moods: on the one hand, he admires the harmony of Russian landscapes, and on the other he transferred melancholy to the wilting autumn nature.

   Please note that a tree is depicted in the foreground. Although most of the picture is water surface, it is wood that is of greater interest. It is noteworthy that it is asymmetric – on the one hand thick greens, on the other – lifeless devastated branches. The artist seemed to have fixed the moment of the change of season, which may be an allegory for the transition period in a person’s life from youth to old age.

   On the mood of the canvas M. AT. Nesterova could be affected by the lyrical trends of the Silver Age, but it is more likely that the author was impressed by the works of Melnikov-Pechersky describing the difficult life of the Old Believers. This inspired the painter to start a series of “people’s” paintings. There was a plot of peasant life, Russian folk tales, and the most important leitmotif was the contemplation of the Russian mother nature. The Nester did not hide his love for his native land. In this landscape, he showed this love with the mystery and longing inherent in the Russian soul.