The painting “Water”, Borisov-Musatov – overview

The painting “Water”, Borisov-Musatov – overview
The painting "Water", Borisov-Musatov - overview - 1

  • Posted by Victor Borisov-Musatov
  • Museum: Tretyakov Gallery
  • Year: 1902-1903

Overview of the painting :

Vodoyem – Victor Elpidiforovich Borisov-Musatov. Oil on canvas. 177 x 216 cm
   The painting “Water” was created in the estate park of Princess Prozorova-Golitsyna Zubrilovka at the happiest time for the artist: Elena Vladimirovna Alexandrova agreed to become his wife. The artist was posed by his sister, Elena Borisova-Musatov, and the bride, embodying the images of Eternal femininity.

   Despite the fact that the canvas was written from nature – a really existing park with a pond and real women, everyone saw in it something not from this world. The mysterious semi-reality and timelessness of the picture became the most poetic manifestation of the symbolist vision of the dream world.

   With water, whose outlines were actually an ideal circle, the artist depicts in the form of a large oval, which goes beyond the canvas with its edges. This geometric shape, so beloved by Musatov, is echoed by a similar, but smaller skirt of one of the heroines, laid by a beautiful oval. Their combination immediately sets a certain musical rhythm to the whole work.

   A kind of composition construction – the exclusion of the horizon line from the picture is an important technique. Using it, the painter consciously brings together the first and second plans, making the canvas flatter.

   Heroes located on the foreground are below the pond, and the water surface itself, serene and clean, like the sky, literally hangs over them. As a result, the illusion of a real mirror is created, raised and delivered vertically. A completely different image is born from the usual landscape, a new reality – which was very characteristic of symbolic artists.