“Emerald Necklace”, Victor Borisov-Musatov – overview of the painting

“Emerald Necklace”, Victor Borisov-Musatov – overview of the painting
"Emerald Necklace", Victor Borisov-Musatov - overview of the painting - 1

  • Posted by Victor Borisov-Musatov
  • Museum: Tretyakov Gallery
  • Year: 1904

Overview of the painting :

Emerald necklace – Victor Elpidiforovich Borisov-Musatov. Oil on canvas. 125 x 214.3 cm
   The first years of the twentieth century are filled with dreams of a new Renaissance in Russian art. Viktor Elpidiforovich Borisov-Musatov writes this picture, which echoes Botticelli’s Spring, and is so unlike his previous work. Modernists did not immediately appreciate it, but now it is one of the masterpieces of the collection of the State Tretyakov Gallery.

   A large meadow flooded with sunlight. Fluffy heads of dandelions are visible among the soft thick grass, playing with all the shades of green: from light emerald to juicy malachite and calm turquoise. Above, the image space is framed by thick foliage of oak branches with carved blue-green leaves on thin brown branches.

   Young, dressed girls walk in the shadow of oaks. To the left, away from the others, there are two friends. We see an elegant profile of a sad young lady in a dark outfit and a yellow-gold cloak. Another, in a tender lilac dress and a translucent chalet with golden patterns, dreams of something of his own. A light smile plays on her lips.

   And on the right is the gusty movement of a lovely woman. She is about to pick up the heavy skirts of a purple dress decorated with the finest laceous collar and cuffs, and rush to someone behind the picture. Solar glare lies on copper-red curls, on gentle porcelain shoulders. Behind her, two friends with understanding and affectionate smiles look in the same direction.

   These two groups combine into one whole the young lady in an olive-colored outfit in the center. Brightly sparkling in the sun, brooch throws gold sparks on satin fabric. Turning to the laggards, she calls them to join the rest with a soft smile. Beautiful hands are folded in the inviting gesture.

   The picture is very melodic – the smooth waves of fluffy dandelions repeat the bends of the lower edge of oak foliage, they are echoed by the movements of the girl’s hands. The alternation of light and dark spots emphasizes the rhythm of movement, gradually increasing from leisurely and calm to fast and swift. Melody continues to sound further, not limited to the image.

   The juicy bright palette of cold deep blue, green shades resembling overfishing of gemstones diluted with cream spots, pale purple and yellowish in color gives a feeling of cool shadow on a hot summer day.

   A round dance of beautiful girls floats to the dark, enchanting music, folding into a necklace of gemstones on green meadows – a symbol of flowering youth and eternal spring.