Swimming the Red Horse, K. WITH. Petrov-Vodkin, 1912

Swimming the Red Horse, K. WITH. Petrov-Vodkin, 1912
Swimming the Red Horse, K. WITH. Petrov-Vodkin, 1912 - 1

  • Posted by Petrov-Vodkin
  • Museum: Tretyakov Gallery
  • Year: 1912

Overview of the painting :

Swimming the red horse – Kuzma Sergeevich Petrov-Vodkin. 1912. Oil on canvas. 160×186

   In 1912, at the exhibition “World of Art”, a painting by K. appeared. WITH. Petrova-Vodkin “Boiling the Red Horse”, which both the public and artists and critics took as a sign of renewal. In the early 1910s, when old ideas about art were eliminated, and violent throwing took place in the artistic environment, the painting “Boiling the Red Horse” for many seemed to be an idea that could reconcile old and new, “left” and “right”, academists and myriskusnikov.

   The artist “built” a monumental work, giving it “programmality”, finding a significant form that can express deep and capacious content. The picture became a model of artistic integrity, the absolute embodiment of an artistic solution, which at the beginning of the 20th century was a rare occurrence in Russian painting. It organically combined a variety of traditions – the ancient Russian icon and monumental paintings of the Renaissance, decorative art, the style of “modern” and almost classical plastic in the interpretation of figures.

   The space of the picture is organized so that thanks to the high line of the horizon, which is as if outside the composition itself, it rises and actually moves to the viewer, limited to the actual plane of the canvas. At the same time, the depth does not disappear: the viewer feels it due to the large-scale reduction of the figures of the second plan. The author seems to be polemic with the impressionistic methods of painting, under the charm of which many artists were at that time, remains aloof from the cubist principle of the implementation of the form, and does not interest him and futuristic experiments.

   Another feature of this picture is characteristic of the whole work of Petrova-Vodkin: despite the fact that the plot of the work is deliberately everyday (buying a horse), there is no story about the event. And although the plot is quite clear, the painter manages to raise it to some ideal image. One of the techniques with which he achieves the goal is the interpretation of color, primarily the main figure (red horse). At the same time, there is no “cryakat” with its deliberate fermentation. Rather, there are traditions of ancient Russian art: a red horse is often found on icons (red is beautiful). The clearly felt pathetics of the picture, the expression of spirituality as a deeply internal state make it the embodiment of the national Russian world. Due to its internal significance, spiritual content and lack of random details, the machine-gun product is perceived as a monumental creation.