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Samarkand

Painting, 1926, 57×76 cm

Description of the artwork «Samarkand»

In 1921 Kuzma Sergeevich Petrov-Vodkin taught at the Academy of fine arts - and heard from one of his students that the Main Committee on Affairs of museums and protection of monuments of art, antiquity and nature collects scientific expedition to Turkestan. The artist for 43 years, he is happily married with many years of expectation of the child creates stress his wife Mara is suffering, he increasingly irritable and closes. East journey in order to assess the condition of medieval architecture of Samarkand seems to be a good idea to him. He will gain new experiences and Mara will rest and have time to get bored.

In Samarkand Petrov-Vodkin is sent in early summer, when the sun beats down, burns the land, rampant mosquitoes and darting mouse, and locals gather grapes, melons, sipping hookah and drink tea. In this hot city artist opens unprecedented color - turquoise: "This binding is ultramarine, sapphire, cobalt ognit soil, rocks, making insignificant Selenza vegetation, completely Serebrya her — it turns out the geographical character of the country in these two antipodes of heaven and soil. This gives in Samarkand feeling of heat, fever, fire under the bowl of the sky. Person terribly between the colour poles, and Eastern creativity has allowed a chord to be created only here, and the existing color of turquoise. He additional accuracy to the fire of the soil... the Aral sea suggested artists this turquoise".

Clothes of boys in this painting are the artist's memories of Eastern turquoise, "coloristic genius of the East". And the complementary color to the turquoise - brown-sand shadows in the folds of his robe, the color of sun-scorched land. Red skull - additional to the color of the sky. Tanned skin is the same color as the desert landscape behind. Translucent bowl balances the architectural Behemoth of the background. The picture is painted in three main colors: yellow, red and blue. The absolute harmony of man with the surrounding world - the balance of shapes and colors.

"This is the General character of all the East: life is the most important, life forms are endlessly diverse — the best of them in the realization of these forms, being itself in formlessness. Out of good-natured cunning smile of a man on Eastern Europeans, inventing new forms and not exhaustive, in fact, any one of them to the end"- recalled Petrov-Vodkin on the pilot notes that he wrote on arrival from Samarkand.

Sjezdovky France, Italy, England and Germany, Petrov-Vodkin in these parts - the European, inventing new forms, who is grinning at the locals, sipping tea in lazy conversations over a Cup of tea. He went out of the house for more than 4 thousand kilometers to look for mosaics and majolica, to listen at night coyotes and tame mice, with horror to look at lepers, and to look for unprecedented turquoise.

The arrival of European Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin will write a book about his adventures in Samarkand and make a few dozen graphic illustrations for it. And a year later he has a daughter Lena.

Author: Anna Sidelnikova
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About the artwork

Art form: Painting

Subject and objects: Portrait, Architecture

Style of art: Art Nouveau

Technique: Oil

Materials: Canvas

Date of creation: 1926

Size: 57×76 cm

Artwork in selections: 7 selections

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