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The four evangelists

Natalia Goncharova • Painting, 1911
About the artwork
This artwork was added since it is referred to in the materials below
Art form: Painting
Subject and objects: Religious scene
Technique: Oil
Materials: Canvas
Date of creation: 1911
Artwork in selections: 17 selections

Description of the artwork «The four evangelists»

The "apostles" four paintings United into a single whole, many researchers consider them the pinnacle of creativity Natalia Goncharova. It is known that the artist wanted to illustrate the Bible. But "to exercise, you need at least a year nothing else to do, to cancel all orders...".

Tetraptych plunges into the archaic atmosphere, he turned to the ancient layers of Christianity, as if the paintings themselves written 2 thousand years ago. Four monumental figures seem to have arisen out of centuries of darkness and illuminate it. But before the lights of the Church it comes not soon, here before us the very ancient times. Except that "The four apostles" of Albrecht dürer cross "Evangelicals" Goncharova.

All four paintings United recurring items: detailed scrolls, dark, heavy colors, a feeling of heaviness, bare feet, greyish-purple halo is so different from the canonical shining halos. Critics Goncharova clean scrolls interpreted as an indication that the saints her "empty". Fans of the artist retort that emptiness void of strife, and these scrolls that which is nothing, and that from which all is created.

For perfectly mastering color by Natalia Goncharova, these paintings are almost monochrome. On them practically does not remain places for background: the statues of the apostles occupy the whole space, their bare feet rested in the base of the canvas, and heads in some cases not even fully fit in the image. The monumentality of the "Apostles" Goncharova comparable the works of El Greco.

The evangelists are not affected by the touch of civilization, rather they gravitate to ancient iconography. Just as farmers in ancient times could represent the saints. Deliberately demonstrative gestures, carefully drawn hands too, appealed to deep, native people's perception of God.

Author: Alain Esaulova