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

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

  • Posted by Victor Borisov-Musatov
  • Museum: Russian Museum
  • Year: 1898

Overview of the painting :

Spring – Victor Elpidiforovich Borisov-Musatov. Oil on canvas. 71 x 98 cm
   The nineteenth century is drawing to a close. The era of realism in Russian art is replaced by symbolism, marking the beginning of the silver age in literature, music and painting. There is a search for new styles and new directions, the main task of which is the transfer of their feelings and emotional experiences. The works are filled with light sadness about the past tense, dreams of unreal beauty, dreams of perfect harmony.

   A striking representative of this direction among the artists was Viktor Elpidiforovich Borisov-Musatov, distinguished by his unique, distinctive manner of writing. The painting “Spring” begins a new stage of his work, and now only female images will be present in his works.

   Clear spring morning. Pale-coral lights lighten slightly on the lungs, weightless clouds, yielding to the pure azure of the sky. In the sun, the walls of the noble house glow softly in warm pink-orange color, blue windows in terracotta frames look like blue from the juicy fresh greenery of tall bushes of lilacs. The flowering garden next to the manor is still in the shade. Thin branches of cherries and apple trees are almost hidden under white flowers, and only on tops did the first leaves begin to bloom.

   The trees seem decorated with exquisite snow-white lace, iridescent of the most tender shades of cream, blue-white, pale-blue flowers. Dark brown trunks are lost in dense young grass, green carpet that float the ground. Among the emerald, malachite, bluish green grasses, implicit inflorescence of primrose and fluffy hats of dandelions on thin legs are visible. Not the slightest blow of the breeze. In the cool morning air, honey aroma spills, you can hear how beflies buzz and birds chirp.

   A young woman walks slowly in the garden. Turned away from the viewer, she admires a magnificent flowering. The colors of her light white-silac dress echo the shades of blooming flowers. Soft folds of a wide skirt emphasize the fragility of a slender figure. A deep neckline, separated by a narrow cut, opens beautiful shoulders. The curls of shiny dark chestnut hair are laid in an intricate hairstyle, pearl beads flicker on a flexible neck. The only bright spot in the picture is a red shawl lowered from the shoulders.

   The work is very chamber, its entire space is limited to a small corner of the garden. The artist’s palette has a bit of colors: light, clean half-ton green, white and peach fill the image with light and air. Small, light smears transmits the master play of light and shadow, creates a feeling of airiness and fragile tenderness. And only dark green spruce brings an alarming note to the image.

   There is no plot in the picture – everything is subject to a single plan. A captured moment is a beautiful world around, cherished dreams and the expectation of happiness. But in the quiet charms of spring morning, we feel a touch of sadness reminding us that the beauty of this world is short-lived, it slips away, leaving behind a bright sadness about the unfulfilled.

   This canvas rightfully takes its place among the masterpieces of Russian painting.