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The shroud

Painting, 1908, 23×34 cm

Description of the artwork «The shroud»

In 1905, having failed to enter the Moscow school of painting, sculpture and architecture, Kazimir Malevich started to take lessons from Ivan Rerberg. Here the young artist met Ivan Klyunkov (Klyun), who became not only his close friend, but also the mastermind behind Malevich. It is believed that he influenced Kazimir Severinovich to create a series of "Sketches of fresco painting." Moreover, some sources claim that the first self-portrait by Malevich painted in those years was, in fact, the portrait of Klyun. This series is dated 1907, just after the artist`s impressionist period; "The shroud", "Prayer" and "Celebration of the sky" combine simultaneously icon-painting technique and some of the techniques of post-impressionism.

Though "The shroud" is included to "Sketches of fresco painting", it differs from the other works of this series. It is gouache on paper (other pieces are painted with tempera on cardboard and wood), the colors are more vivid here. If in other pictures the image as if covered with a subtle golden haze, then in “The shroud" Malevich uses a system of contour drawing, clearly drawing the outline of each object. Referring to the biblical story, the artist gives it a kind of fairy-tale color, depriving its hero of recognizable features characteristic of the traditional images of Christ, surrounding him by fantastic plants.

For Kazimir Severinovich religious painting was of special significance. He recalled, "I was much impressed with icons despite my naturalistic education of my senses to nature. I felt something familiar and wonderful in them. I saw the entire Russian people in them, with all its emotional creativity. Then I remembered my childhood: horses, flowers, primitive paintings and carvings. I felt some connection of peasant art with the icons: icon painting is the highest form of perasant art. I found the entire spiritual side of the "peasant age", I understood the peasants through icons, I knew the face not of the saints, but of ordinary people."

Written by Eugenia Sydelnykova
from 1450 rub
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About the artwork

Art form: Painting

Subject and objects: Religious scene

Style of art: Symbolism

Technique: Gouache

Materials: Cardboard

Date of creation: 1908

Size: 23×34 cm

Artwork in selections: 9 selections

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