Bathing the red horse

Kuzma Sergeevich Petrov-Vodkin • Painting, 1912, 160×186 cm
About the artwork
Art form: Painting
Subject and objects: Genre scene, Animalism
Style of art: Art Nouveau
Technique: Oil
Materials: Canvas
Date of creation: 1912
Size: 160×186 cm
Artwork in selections: 92 selections

Description of the artwork «Bathing the red horse»

"Bathing of a red horse" - the picture is made a revelation twice, with a difference in half a century. For the first time - only when it was written, in 1912. The second - in 1961, when after two wars, revolutions and foreign adventures is finally in the collection of the Tretyakov gallery.

1912. Exhibition of art Association "World of art". Above the entrance to the hall as a banner, as a software alert, as the course pointer and the tuning fork style, is the painting "Bathing of a red horse". It is not in the exhibition, and prior to any inspection. It should start and its finish. Sam Petrov-Vodkin only a couple of years ago I came back from Paris and Algeria, saw the cleared old Russian icons, Leonardo, Bellini,Michelangelo and Fra Angelico. Publisher of the magazine "Apollo" gave him a solo exhibition and Repin managed to publicly insult the "ignorant slave", mindlessly following the French dropout. But now, in front of the entrance to the exhibition of miriskusnikov, it seems even Repin.

Mighty red horse not flying, not jumping. Its huge, fiery figure does not fit within the picture and does not see a land, water or in the sky through which it moves. Under his hoof the water surface is twisted in the maelstrom. The rider keeps the horse easily and trusting in his confident move, thoughtfully and intently looking into the distance. Behind them the river and the forest, the whole planet, from the height of view to lose small parts and simplify to the conventional theatrical scenery. Space or landscape in which the measurement is not grass and splashes, and land and sea.

Curved planetary horizon, like Petrov-Vodkin, and which is so disliked by the critics, was a true observation. A teenager Kuzma witnessed a man fight in which he killed a man. From despair and anger at their fellow countrymen who did not become obsolete savagery, fear of the future, which can also drown in vodka and despair, he fled to the hill over the river. With tears falling to the ground, suddenly experienced a new impression: "...I saw the earth as a planet... Pell the eyes of the whole horizon, seeing it as a whole, I found myself on a segment of a ball and a hollow ball, with a backward concavity, I found myself as if in the bowl, covered with trehchetvertkami of the firmament. An unexpected, completely new nicely hugged me Satanovsky hill. The dizzying capture was that the earth was not horizontal and Volga kept not overflowing on the steep curves of her body, and I was not lying, as it were, hanging on the earth wall. Then of course, I did not realize the value of opening only experienced great joy and complacency in my life before the vast unfolding of the world before me".

And this cosmic context, and iconic horse, and the Renaissance the young man provide a picture of monumentality and clingy, ingrowing in the tradition of power. But the thoroughness this is not an academic mummified, but quite new, viable, avant-garde, Fauvist wild, disturbing.

When two years later began the First world war, Petrov-Vodkin said: "So that's why I wrote "bathing of red horse"! But it will take another three years - and the new commentators already want to award a picture of a new prophetic meaning. In 1917, the red horse is perceived quite clearly. Now any conversation about the picture is necessarily accompanied by interpretation. Some see in it a premonition of the tragic events that awaited the country and the world in General. Other - the Messiah, who brings hope for renewal and rebirth. Third - the philosophical idea that every person and object does not exist in the landscape, and within the universal space, everything is connected and interacts. And each version looks convincing.

1961. The Tretyakov gallery. Casimir, Bacevich, a lover and collector of works of art, donated to the Museum the painting "Bathing of a red horse" which 10 years was in the collection. And before that, nearly 40 years hung in Sweden, the Museum of the city of malmö. The Swedish story is really action-Packed.

In 1914 in malmö was an exhibition and other works by young artists in her exhibition presents two works by Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin. One of them "Bathing of a red horse". The exhibition has not yet had time to finish - and in Europe the First world war. The picture will be hostage to historical tragedies for another half century. And only after the Second world the artist's widow Maria Feodorovna begin long talks about the return of the work home.

Petrov-Vodkin long been dead, in the Soviet Union, a new generation of realist artists and the painting opened up again. For all the past years have not created anything similar, nothing that would integrate so naturally Russian icon painting, European classical tradition and the avant-garde of the formal discoveries of the early twentieth century. Nothing is so firmly on the earth and so dreamy sought to the cosmic heights.

Author: Anna Sidelnikova