Description of the artwork «Still life. Fruits on a platter (Blue plums)»
Mashkov is called the “king of still lifes,” and this title is well deserved. "Fruits on a platter" written during the period of the artist's mastering of plane painting, the genre of signboards. This still life is Mashkov's start in the genre. Here the composition is simplified and primitive as much as possible. If it’s the center, it will be a bright orange orange, and around it there are plums as dark as night. A white crumpled tablecloth and a gray neutral background perfectly set off the brightness and texture of peaches and apples around the dish. The influence is clearly visible Matisse. By the way, this picture at one time Matisse and Serov recommended to buy patron Morozov. This for Mashkov was a real confession: the teacher who had previously rejected him (see artist biography) and the idol of Moscow artists, Henri Matisse himself!
Art critic Dmitry Sarabyanov wrote that Mashkov “Attracts the most earthly, the most healthy. In his paintings, the flesh triumphs, in whatever form it may appear - in the form of the fruits of the earth, the naked female body or copper cookware". And indeed, in these fruits - an unbridled celebration, I want to say - gusto! The picture does not immediately act on all organs of perception - we see a bright fruit placer, we feel the aroma of ripe fruits and, it seems, if we touch, we feel the smoothness of the plums, the soft, slightly rough peach skin and the orange pea. Taste receptors and even more so do not have to rest near the "edible" paintings of Mashkov.
In the future, his still lifes will become more voluminous - by definition, Sarabyanova, “will be identified”. AT "Still Life with Vegetables" 1914 or "Still life with bread and pumpkin" In 1915 we already see volume, size contrast and a softer, not so hyperbolic opposition of the textures of the depicted fruits and objects.
One more "Still Life with Fruit", written by Mashkov in the same 1910 and compositionally similar to “plum”, in 2013 at the London auction, Christie's left for 7, 253 million dollars.