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1902, 177×216 cm • Tempera, Canvas

Description of the artwork «Pond»

The Picture Borisov-Musatov "The pond" created in the most happy time for him. The woman he had loved for many years, his future wife, the artist Elena Aleksandrova replied "Yes". The idea of the movie originated in Zubrilovka – your favorite artist estate of Princess prozorovo-Galitzine. He spent the summer together with your families and friends – sister Lena and future wife.

We have two girls: sitting on the shore, the bride of the artist, standing next to his sister. Calm and motionless surface of a lake – an artificial reservoir, the baths, at that time, representing a miracle of hydraulic engineering. A pond made in the shape of a perfect oval, Borisov-Musatov generally gravitated to this geometric form. The oval is repeated in the folds of her dress sitting girls and the folds resemble waves and contrast with the surface of the water.

Vertical reflection of the trees come into rhythmic echoes of the figure of the standing girl. The artist plays remarkably well plans images: girls are written as if near a pond we see as if from above. Due to this, with the General view not a picture, it turns out that the pond like set vertically and literally is a mirror. But it is not reflected in the girls, and the landscape. We actually see only in the reflection. Horizon line the artist generally disregarded, using instead is a reflection. Thus, the viewer is deprived of reason particularly to believe in "the real world", a world of reflections outshines it. It may even be a feeling that we have before us the underwater world, but do not overwater.

Deep blue tones dresses sitting heroine's resonate with the reflection of the sky in the water and the bright white lace of the cloak, with the reflected clouds. The poetic mood of the picture corresponds to the large size of the canvas. Special expressions, generally characteristic of the women in the paintings Borisov-Musatov, creating a certain sense of detachment from everyday life, hills. Sitting girl, questioning eyes looking into the distance, a person standing omitted and as if hidden in a foggy bliss. Harmony and absolute beauty. A beautiful moment, no need to call to stop, it froze on the canvas.

It is noteworthy that in this picture there are no explicit references to the past that we see in other works (1, 2) Borisov-Musatov longer needs such external attributes as wigs, waistcoats and crinolines to open the door to the world of "beautiful era" and the Eternal feminine (the purpose of the quests of the symbolists). Avoiding these trappings, he seemed no introductions immersed himself and immerses the viewer into the poetics of the past, poetics of dreams. At what here, right, crinoline...

The fullness of joy, fullness of being and the poetry of life is reflected in this pond. And the pond is like is reflected in the heroines of the canvas. One of the leading ideas of the philosophy of Borisov-Musatov – the doom of Beauty, if not those who can reflect. Here we have three infinity, mutually reflecting each other, forming a circular Trinity: water depth, the infinity of the sky and the beauty of the Eternal feminine.

Anyone Borisov-Musatov was not recognized that the picture was conceived – only these two women and knew about it. From a letter to his future wife: "This picture I will write now or never... Because after will begin a new life. All will grab me, probably in a different form. And I want to thank this picture... was your wedding gift". About the glory he surely had a premonition: this picture drastically changed the attitude of critics and spectators, and fellow artists.

When he showed the painting to friends, even before her official presentation at the exhibition, they remained silent, crazed, amazed, spellbound by the spectacle presented to them. Finally someone could not resist: "Well... that was amazing...". The public saw the "Pond" in early 1903 at the exhibition of Moscow Association of artists. It was obvious that this work is a special phenomenon in Russian painting. It immediately became a family of Russian collectors Vladimirand Henrietta Hirschman. In 1917, the year this painting along with many others was transferred to a temporary, as it seemed, overexposure in the collection of the Tretyakov gallery. When Germany left "the Pond" and remained in the collection of the Tretyakov gallery, where it is today.

Author: Alain Esaulova
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About the artwork
Subject and objects: Landscape, Genre scene
Style of art and technique: Symbolism, Tempera

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