Volga near Yuryevets

Alexey Savrasov • Painting, 1870, 126.5×207 cm
About the artwork
Art form: Painting
Subject and objects: Landscape, Genre scene
Style of art: Realism
Technique: Oil
Materials: Canvas
Date of creation: 1870
Size: 126.5×207 cm
Artwork in collection: My collection Tatyana Somova
Artwork in selections: 16 selections

Description of the artwork «Volga near Yuryevets»

"Volga near Yuryevets" were exhibited anonymously in 1871 at the annual competition of the Moscow society of art lovers. The picture created a furor. "Volga" Savrasov got first place in the section of landscape images. That's how it was described by contemporaries: "The picture is quite large in size (more than fathoms in width). Flavor, so to speak, a rainy. Endless swell of mother-nurse of the Volga; cloudy sky; Yuryevets on the hill; a bunch of boatmen pulling to tow the barge; a sad, but typical situation..."

The next time the audience of this piece was heard in December 2014 at the Paris auction house Audap & Mirabaud. The estimate was determined in the 70-90 thousand euros. The organizers of the auction didn't seem to bother to understand what is in front of them, putting such a modest price. But the collectors value of a masterpiece is quite aware, in the end, the painting went for 939 million euros (more than $ 1 million) - in a French private collection. In June 2015 at the Russian auction Sotheby's in London the painting was exhibited with the estimate of 1 million 400 thousand – 1 million 800 thousand pounds sterling (2 million 150 thousand – 2 million 800 thousand dollars). She was considered one of the most expensive and choicest lots in the Russian trade, but the buyer is not found.

Not that "Volga near Yuryevets" generally disappeared. Know about it, photos of her were found in the monographs of the artist, even students in the essays was sometimes described. But where is it, and do a whole – was not known. The inscription on the back indicates that the painting was in the collection of Professor of Kiev University, Dr. Vladimir Mehring. You cannot exactly follow the path she came abroad. As of 2015, this painting became the most important Savrasov painting ever exhibited at Sotheby's auction. And in General it is among the best works of Savrasov.

Boatmen on the background of the monumental landscape of the Volga, or the haulers as part of this landscape opens a cycle of works Savrasova on the Volga. In early 1870 the artist with his wife Sophie and their two daughters moved to Yaroslavl. Here, near Vellore (a small town East of Yaroslavl), Savrasov worked on this painting. Here he wrote the most famous of his paintings, including the legendary picture "Rooks have arrived". It was a happy time in his life – a family favorite, the ability to write, inspiration, nature. And yet it was a difficult time here after the difficult birth of Sophia died third child Savrasova. This alloy of tragic experiences and happy life was created by the best paintings of the artist.

The painting depicts a rainy, gloomy time of year. On the hill on the right is visible Sochi. A group of boatmen towing a barge. The boatmen themselves appear to be heroes coming from the Regal waters of the Volga, and part of the landscape, part of the Volga. Farmers are not humanized, not individualized, we do not differentiate, they – component of the force, doomed to pull a loaded barge Behind came from behind the clouds the sunlight illuminated the water and part of the settlement. But there where to move burlaky – the darkness and the sense of "thunder".

In other works on this subject Savrasov more carefully drawn figures. For example, stored in the Tretyakov gallery painting "Barge haulers on the Volga"the figures are shown in more detail, clearly visible faces. In fact, the difference between the blades is set in the names. In one case, the artist wrote boatmen, each of which is perceived as an individual personality, and the other wrote the Volga. And here the main character – that it, the great river, with the attendant barges, sailing boats, boatmen, and a settlement on the hill, clouds and sun.

In 1860-70-ies, a number of major Russian artists tried to draw attention to the theme of boatmen, be seen as a symbol of the brutal social injustice. Of course, it is impossible not to recall the famous "Barge haulers on the Volga" by Ilya Repin. Savrasov and Repin wrote his boatmen in parallel and independently from each other. Both of the reasons written in 1866 work Vasily Vereshchagin.

Both paintings were presented to 1871, Repin showed his "boatmen" in Saint-Petersburg, Savrasov Volga in Moscow. It is known that Repin's painting was modified, and the audience knows the option, to which he came in 1873. Savrasov also worked on the painting after the first exhibition. According to some information, he changed to 1871.

Author: Alain Esaulova