Picture “Night”, Archip Ivanovich Quinji – overview

Picture “Night”, Archip Ivanovich Quinji – overview
Picture "Night", Archip Ivanovich Quinji - overview - 1

  • Posted by Arkhip Ivanovich Quinji
  • Museum: Russian Museum
  • Year: 1905-1908

Overview of the painting :

Night – Arkhip Ivanovich Quinji. 1905-1908. Oil on canvas. 107×169 cm

   At the end of the 19th century, Archip Quinji, tired of empty rumors and his rattling glory, decided to move away from secular and exhibition life. The painter himself wanted to leave the stage at the very final chord, and he succeeded – the artist’s paintings were popular, admired both compatriots and the Western public.

   Of course, after the artist voluntarily imprisoned himself in the workshop, “evil languages” and envious people talked a lot about the fact that the master was exhausted, began to repeat his own stories, and, in general, exhausted himself and his creative possibilities. However, the works that appeared in the workshop during the “tain silence” of Archip Quinja proved to everyone the obvious – the painter worked hard, experimented with paints, looked for new soil bases, tried various pigments, invented plots and embodied them in various performing techniques.

   One of the most remarkable and attractive works of the artist’s retreat is the painting “Night”, written from 1905 to 1908. This is one of the last masterpieces of the Russian poetic landscape master.

   Before us is a wide panorama – a dark hill and a shiny river surrounded by endless expanses of the plains. On top of the hill silhouettes of two horses. They are the compositional center of the picture. Attentive theorists will immediately note that the figures of animals are located in the picture in full accordance with the rules of the classical composition. We also notice other horses grazing on the plain. And on the earth, shepherd teenagers, portrayed somewhat simplistically, with isolated spots, sleep.

   Quinja gave most of the canvas to heaven – the frequent end-to-end hero of his work. And as always, the sky here is extremely beautiful, mobile and filled. A thin, sharp moon barely illuminates the clouds floating above it, but it plays so brightly in the calm waters of the river. To the horizon, the sky becomes brighter, indicating that soon a new day will begin to study over the nightly elegic landscape.

   The color flavor is very calm and verified – smooth transitions, overflows of halftones give a realistic plot of lyricity and light-dorish mood. It is at the same time bright and sad, even some kind of scent, a warm memory of the days of the past, but so happy.

   In every movement of the Quinja brush, there is genuine admiration for nature, an all-consuming desire to sing this real sacred beauty, grandeur and solemnity in any manifestation of it. Perhaps none of the landscape painters could so spiritualize the usual and simple, at first glance, plot.

   The viewer may notice some decorativeness, simplistic image of horses, and this will be a fair remark. It is because of this that the picture “Night” is considered unfinished, which to no extent detracts from the dignity of this work.

   Many art historians in their critical articles recognize the picture presented as farewell. This is the testament of the aging Kuinji Archipus. And the last word of the master was quiet and bright, full of love for his stories and for the cause to which he, a poor man, gave all of himself and his life … without a trace.