“Step. Niva ”, Arkhip Ivanovich Quinji – overview of the painting

“Step. Niva ”, Arkhip Ivanovich Quinji – overview of the painting
"Step. Niva ”, Arkhip Ivanovich Quinji - overview of the painting - 1

  • Posted by Arkhip Ivanovich Quinji
  • Museum: Yaroslavl Art Museum
  • Year: 1875

Overview of the painting :

Steppe. Niva – Arkhip Ivanovich Quinji. 1875. Oil on canvas. 69 x 109 cm

   A wide, flat steppe literally comes from a summer heat – from the picture it seems to feel thick, dry and prickly, dusty air. A simple picture of bucolic being inspires a sense of calm and peace. The high sky fills the canvas with air, and the wide gold fields with the feeling of rich natural gifts that crowned the hard work of the villagers.

   The canvas depicts vast fields of wheat that have already matured and gave heavy, poured columns. A wide road is laid between the two endless fields, which is not fully visible to us – it goes away from an angle from the viewer. A woman walks along her in typically village clothes, characteristic of that time period. She has a clean white shirt of free crumbs and a dark skirt-plate. Some dark outer clothing is thrown on one hand. Obviously, because of the heat, the woman took it off and now carries it with her. She is barefoot, and in her second hand she has a red object. The analogy begs that it carries red-headed boots removed from its feet – a shoe item that is very characteristic of those days. But it is certainly impossible to consider exactly what this is, of course, so here every viewer can imagine what fantasy tells him.

   On both sides of the peasant woman are luxurious fields of ripe wheat. The ears of corn stand thick, seem like a solid mass of cast gold, going into the distance, to the horizon. Only in the foreground can we consider the loose structure of straw of a beautiful warm, golden hue.

   The fields go straight into the sky, forming at the junction a light bluish haze smoothly turning into clouds in a high sky. It is very vague to distinguish the silhouette of the windmill and very distant buildings on the slope on the horizon. The sky over the steppe is pale, covered with a scattering of the lightest perist clouds. They cover almost the entire space of the sky, leaving only small fragments of light veil pigeon. A rather large white bird soars in the sky, spreading its wings wide. In Ukrainian steppes, this is most likely a stork – a symbol of home well-being, a prosperous and bakery home. Together, this creates an atmosphere of serene peace and extraordinary, ringing silence.

   In the picture, everything speaks of prosperity and fertility – fat fields, vast spaces. But the sky above all this carries a hidden alarm – it can be shed in the rain, easily able to destroy the many months of hard work of the peasants, leaving them without the expected harvest.