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The red came

Painting, XX century, 200×360 cm

Description of the artwork «The red came»

History of the work

Work on the painting began back in 1956. In the course of his work, the artist felt the need to go to his native village of Uvarovichi, where, as a child, he first heard the powerful stomp of cavalry. In Uvarovichi, the artist worked a lot, painted sketches. On their basis, the concept of the painting was finally formed. A quiet village street, captured in one of these sketches, became the scene of the events depicted in the painting "The Red Came". [2] The first version of the painting depicted a short halt of the red cavalry. “The dismounted soldier eagerly drinks water straight from the pot. Before him is a woman with a handkerchief hastily thrown over her head. She's kind of dazed. Next to her is a boy in a budenovka, in an old shabby jacket that apparently remained from his father, going down to his knees, he looks at the fighter with all his eyes. And all around there were fighters, peasants, carts, horses, they form picturesque groups. ”[3]

However, this version seemed to the author too narrative and genre, devoid of "dynamic pathos and romantic uplift". “I wanted,” wrote E. Ye. Moiseenko, “so that the viewer not only saw an episode of the arrival of the Reds in this particular village, but to feel that it was these people who would carry and carry the Red Banner of Victory throughout Russia. I wanted to subordinate the coloristic and plastic solution of the thing to this idea. ”[4]

The almost completed canvas was set aside and a new search began. Through dozens of sketches, sketches, step by step, the artist approached the goal. The composition has been resolutely revised and changed more than once. So the artist set about creating the second version.

Working on the painting, the artist was looking for specific features of his characters. Sometimes he found a more or less suitable type, wrote a sketch, which was then transformed in the picture according to the plan. Sometimes it was a fictional image. Already in the first sketches, the general outlines of the commissioner's figure were outlined, whose image from sketch to sketch more and more acquired specific features. The prototype was only for the blond boy watching from the porch. The artist recalls that the red horsemen seemed to him, then still a boy, giants. This is how they appear before us in his picture.

In the course of work on the canvas, the author initially placed a girl greeting the red soldiers at the open gate, in the foreground. But soon the artist became convinced that this figure lends some verbosity to the composition, deprives the viewer of activity and removed this excellently written figure. [5]

Moiseenko's canvas gained wide popularity wherever it was exhibited. It visited republican and all-Union exhibitions in Poland, East Germany, Denmark, Mexico, Brazil, Cuba.

In October 1966, for this painting, the painter was awarded the State Prize of the RSFSR named after I.E.Repin.

In 1974, by a resolution of the Central Committee of the CPSU and the Council of Ministers of the USSR "On the award of Lenin prizes in the field of literature, art and architecture in 1974," the artist was awarded the Lenin Prize for the cycle of paintings "The Fighting Years", which also represented the work "The Reds Came". [6 ] [7] [8]

Now the work is in the collection of the State Russian Museum (received in 1968 from the USSR MK). [9]

Plot. Artistic features

In early spring, in the evening twilight, a detachment bursts into the village peace, like a whirlwind, ahead of which a red banner is blazing. There are only a few riders on the canvas. But the composition is built in such a way that we perceive them as a mighty avalanche of fighters that no one is able to stop. It is this image that the artist has been looking for so long and persistently.

The viewer feels like an active participant in the ongoing event, he seems to be among the inhabitants of the village, hurrying to see the galloped standard-bearer.

"Vortex images" [10] of the main characters of the picture complement each other, creating a holistic, plastically generalized image of the Red Army during the Civil War. The trumpeter swiftly rushes after the standard-bearer. “And after them a broad-cheeked tanned fighter in a blue cloak rushes forward. By his eyes, somewhat tired, but attentively following everything that happens on the street, from his entire tense figure, we unmistakably recognize the red commander. Next to him on a raven-black horse is a commissar in a tunic faded from the sun and rain ... His whole figure is like a stretched string ... Behind him are the soldiers: smiling broadly at us, well-worn, with an open peasant face, and the one who waves his hand in greeting. The young man rushing next to them is boyishly serious, his romantic soul seeks to rush into battle as soon as possible. ”[11]

The compositional discovery of the author - a fence obliquely cutting the swift movement of the horses, in combination with a highly raised horizon line, allowed EE Moiseenko to create a dynamic feeling of the whole scene, as if snatched right out of life. [12]

This work deeply captures the viewer, makes them relive the distant, legendary days. This impression is enhanced by the excellently found expressive drawing, the scale of dark and light, warm and cold tones, from passionate, temperamental painting, now transparent, almost watercolor, now wide, pasty with rapidly applied strokes, through which other colors shine through, which creates such a coloristic wealth, in which each piece of painting works independently.

The artistic solution of conveying movement in the space of the painting raised the painting “The Reds Came” to the level of a masterpiece. Thanks to the rapid rhythm of construction, sharp color contrasts, sharpness and dynamism of forms, the canvas creates an excited, tense mood. The linear rhythm of Moiseenko was reinforced by the horizontal elongation of the street, houses, fence. [13]

"... everything was filled with impetuous movement, the flying brilliance of the rushing cavalry, the feeling of a holiday that instantly burst into life" [14] (M. German)
“They are immortal - the riders of the revolution. Their faith and hope, their aspiration for the future are always alive. This movement cannot be stopped! ”[15] (L. Novozhilova)
Professor V. A. Lenyashin highly appreciated the painting "The Reds Came" and put it on a par with the commissar K. Petrov-Vodkin, the partisans S. Gerasimov, the defenders of Petrograd A. Deineka: the red horsemen have found reality ... - fair, noble, they liberate the cities and villages, notify the whole world about the beginning of a new era and, without a moment's hesitation, give their lives for the sake of the future. [16]

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About the artwork

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Art form: Painting

Subject and objects: Historical scene

Style of art: Realism

Technique: Oil

Materials: Canvas

Date of creation: XX century

Size: 200×360 cm