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Eatables Moscow. Bread

Painting, 1924, 145×129 cm

Description of the artwork «Eatables Moscow. Bread»

"Eatables Moscow. Bread" hungry to watch forbidden – such a warning must precede a look at the picture. Oval dark red table abundance of various bakery products, provoking a desire to reach out and take the top shelf of a huge pretzel, a second hand – a soft bun at the bottom to break off, third run in donut, the fourth pulled over dusted with powdered sugar cake... well, hand it is desirable to have a lot. Here and dark hearth bread, toasted challah, crackers, and cakes, and Baba, and a loaf, and loaf. It's hard not to feel the aromas of freshly baked bread, looking at Moscow "bread".

Mashkov has repeatedly addressed the theme of bread. The first bread still life dated back to 1912. This period of fascination with neo-primitivism, from the picture emanates a feeling of wildness of joy from infinity to its own forces, call academicism. All these buns and loaves are hypertrophied, they best describe the word "very", measures the artist does not know yet. One of the critics of the time wrote: "You can feel the joy of the savage who sees for the first time, here's the surprise – the "Bread", these forms of fruit".

The following bread still life dates from 1915 and clearly demonstrates that the artist has developed, changed, did not stand still. Here we see the juxtaposition of different textures and colors: toasted bread, tranquil shades of vegetables, bright and juicy pear, frosted and transparent bottles.

And in 1925 at the exhibition of AHRR (Association of artists of revolutionary Russia) "Revolution, life and labor" Mashkov has presented the triptych "Eatables Moscow." In addition to the described "Loaves", it includes "Meat, poultry"and Fruit still life with grapes.

Mashkov wrote about these "Loaves": "I wanted to prove ( ... ) that our Soviet pictorial art should be in tune with our sense of time and clearly, cogently, lucidly every working man. Still life "Bread" is our ordinary bakery of its time... and the song like careless, clumsy, but nashenskie, Moscow, tutoshnie, not Paris".

Mashkov sincerely believed in the revolutionary ideals. But the picture turned out more than than expected by the artist himself. Remember the historical context – the country is only exhaled after the iron grip of military communism, started the unstable era of the NEP, calling on the one hand to develop and prosper (although not why), and with another – at any moment of imminent dispossession... And in this time Mashkov writes "the Moscow food". The Soviet way of life? Ha, Yes, this is the table of Gargantua, not the Soviet Union!

There is a difference in writing to the food when it is just food, and write the bread when you already know that it may not be. Here is the second case. In these generous, rich, abundant still lifes, on this celebration of life I felt a certain deliberateness, exaggerated, desperate carnival that is about to end. Ended, as we already know. Did Mashkov? Unknown. He wanted to "keep up" with the revolution, but, unwittingly, stepped forward.

By the way, the last "bread still life" he writes in 1936. Began the era of the great cleansing... "Soviet bread" made by artist sketches baked Moscow bakery. Then you and the loaf, the coat of arms of the Soviet Union, and baked the ears, and the abundance of buns, pretzels, loaves... Stalin's Empire! The attributes of the Soviet regime, which... you can eat! Was the intent of the artist the second bottom, which will become apparent much later to us, but not his contemporaries? A question that has no answer.

Author: Alain Esaulova
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About the artwork

Art form: Painting

Subject and objects: Still life

Technique: Oil

Materials: Canvas

Date of creation: 1924

Size: 145×129 cm

Artwork in selections: 10 selections