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The Intersection Drouot

Painting, 1902, 65×81 cm

Description of the artwork «The Intersection Drouot»

Since 1890 raffaëlli enthusiastically writes urban landscapes on the streets of Paris. Here it captures everything: an unusual composite "floors", in which a measure of scale – the human figure ceases to be the centre of attention; the fanciful dance of the directions given to the look of pavements, walls, directed their business pedestrians and carriages, the variety of rhythms – the regularity of lights and trees on the Boulevard, facades with a width in a strictly regulated two Windows, the spans of the bridge over the Seine, and then ridiculous outstretched ladder of the lamplighter and the truck greengrocer, mast two light sailboats, competing with the steeples of Notre Dame, curve a quadrilateral are no related people. Besides, at the same time someone is speeding, someone stopped to have a look, and all this worldly dynamics and statics correlated with the dynamics of the weather and statics of architecture, echoing each other as the sky reflected in the Windows and wet pavements. And there definitely runs spotted or black dog, or several dogs (1, 2, 3, 4, 5). In short, the city – living nature. And this living city its character.

Some types of Paris raffaëlli painted, like other Impressionists, in particular – Claude Monet (for example, its cycles "Rouen Cathedral","Haystacks"), with the same points at different times of day and year, showing that the city is vulnerable to sentiment, as man.

These flery sentiment Impressionists called "effects". So, Pissarro writes "Rain effect" and "snow Effect" (1, 2), and raffaëlli – soft "Effect of autumn" acting on the arc de Triomphe, which just three months earlier looked like a flat poster with harsh shadows and rough contours.
Rafaelli puts the sketchbook on the street corners and squares, literally in the middle of the roadway (1, 2) or on the balconies of angular houses and riding in the cab, choosing camera angles, like a photographer for reportage photography, to be both observer and participant in the events. Those same streets and boulevards of Paris in the same faded, as if hurriedly oiled colours portrayed Camille Pissarro – exactly the same as if cut off foreground, the viewer is also present at the place of the artist (1, 2, 3). The artist-reporter important details and episodes that make up the fabric of the moment. Here is a solemn moment: the house of Victor Hugo to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the head of the French literary romanticism (when Hugo was still alive; the picture is painted from memory, twenty years later, in the year of the 100th anniversary of the writer in 1902-m), people piled on the mountain of flowers, many came with children, the celebrant welcomes the guests from the window, hugging grandson or great-grandson – the artist is seen, perhaps even more than the frail young man climbed a tree to reinforce the flags. And here – delicious: over the spring area of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, just passed the storm, the townspeople unbuttoned their coats and cloaks, at the famous Church of the sun casts a harsh white light, and apparently in the same second as sharply struck the Church bell, scaring three dozen pigeons; Rafaelli waited for this magnificent match.

"Crossroads Druo" – one of those small paintings. Rafaelli put the sub-frame with primed canvas on a portable easel right in the midst of the people, at noon, hurrying from right to left – substituting back the December wind (a dog this time runs in the same direction, and all). The air is awash with snowflakes, making all the figures are seen as if fuzzy, and trees and houses like shabby. In the depths of the street hung a powdery bluish-white mess: winter sky snow gets into all the gaps. Rafaelli draws these thousands of strokes and dots deft economical movements – and it seems his freezing hands with a palette and a couple of thin brushes, gloves with cut off fingers. He's 52, the cold sneaks him by the collar, wind victoriae right side, but the artist to hurry into a warm room, after all, only when drawing.

Author: Maria Kropacheva
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About the artwork

Art form: Painting

Subject and objects: Urban landscape

Style of art: Impressionism

Technique: Oil

Materials: Canvas

Date of creation: 1902

Size: 65×81 cm

Artwork in selections: 11 selections