Picture “On the Terrace”, Kustodiev – description

Picture “On the Terrace”, Kustodiev – description
Picture "On the Terrace", Kustodiev - description - 1

  • Author: Boris Mikhailovich Kustodiev
  • Museum: Nizhny Novgorod Art Museum
  • Year: 1906

Overview of the painting :

On the terrace – Boris Mikhailovich Kustodiev. 1906. Oil on canvas. 134 x 97.5 cm

   One of the most important pages of Boris Kustodiev’s work is devoted to Russian provincial life. The traditional Russian life, where the main characters were merchants, merchants, cabbage soup, living in a patriarchal character, attracted the painter with his calm way. That is why his paintings on this topic are distinguished by beauty and detail.

   The painting “On the Terrace” is incredibly gentle, lyrical work describing the family scene. Around the brilliant samovar on the wooden terrace the whole family gathered. The situation speaks of the solitude of a new solid log house – the background is presented to the viewer in the form of a meadow and a forest towering above it. The foreground depicts the main characters, adults and children. It is noteworthy that these are not fictional heroes, but the real family of the artist Kustodiev is a wife, sister and husband, their children and nanny. The mistress pours tea, having time to look after her youngest daughter, and at the table other family members have a leisurely conversation.

   The colors on the canvas breathe freshness and shine clean, there is a lot of white, a lot of light tones. The technique of the early period of the painter’s work is striking in realism. Only in such a performance could the pastoral image of the Russian province, idealized by the author, be conveyed. Smooth lines, precision drawing, harmonious composition, bright palette – all this is a feature of the style of early Kustodiev, especially when it comes to paintings on similar plots.

   The work is striking in its mood, since it clearly carries a feeling of quiet family happiness when the samovar is polished to a shine, hot tea cools in cups, on the treat table, and evening quietly sinks onto the terrace.