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Alyonushka

Painting, 1881, 173×121 cm

Description of the artwork «Alyonushka»

Vasnetsov said that of all his paintings himself Alenushka lovelier other. However, dear sad girl, bending at the brook, was loved not only by the author.

Alyonushka from folk tales is definitely recognizable, but this is not an artistic comment to the story. Wrote Vasnetsov "Alyonushka" in Okhtyrka. At the invitation of philanthropist and collector Savva Mamontov, he and his family spent the summer near their estate in Abramtsevo. In Abramtsevo constantly gathered writers, artists, there was the classical music, did not stop the laughter and fun of the discussion, the guests were involved in Amateur theatre.

In his hands, staring into space got a collection of folk tales Afanasiev's collection and it helped the image of Alyonushka to crystallize, first in his imagination and on the canvas. With the girl's pose, he decided immediately, but its appearance is like a landscape in the course of work on the sketches were varied (1, 2).

One day, walking near Abramtsevo, he met bareheaded peasant girl. Such sadness and longing in her eyes lurked, so lonely and unhappy she was that her image was the finishing touch that allowed "Alyonushka" to appear. Vasnetsov himself admitted that in her way also partially etched and radiant shining the youngest daughter of Savva Mamontov Veruca (commonly known picture Serov).
 
Drooping, bowed his head on crossed arms, Alenka, prigornitskiy, sitting on a rock by the river. Sadness, loneliness, and humility in her way. Calloused feet clearly show that is not on the soft carpets that girl has to go, and by hard work she is accustomed. Vasnetsov does not make her interpretation neither didactics nor blichfeldt. This is a real Alyonushka from folk tales, a manifestation of the deepest essence of the Russian people – a sad, touching, tender and, it seems, infinitely tired. To say that the landscape is in harmony with the mental state of the heroine – considerably underestimate the reality, they just seem to be one inseparable whole, as if the landscape is her state of mind. Small flowers on the skirt alenushki merge with pale Central Russian nature.

Around the gloomy, unhappy. Dense forest, through which were not penetrated by the sun, a black pool around him of the aspen – a symbol of trouble. I do not wonder whether what's wrong with looking into this pit girl? By the way, Vasnetsov originally thought about calling the picture "Stupid Alyonushka". A fool at that time called orphans no father, no mother, no women. But all in all, the picture there is no feeling of impending doom – that's small apples small fruits. They are about life, and nothing irreparable Alyonushka this pool will not do. And on the branch above her head settled swallows, kind of a messenger, and it seems that they protect the girl from the last step.

Vasnetsov showed "Alenushka" at the ninth traveling exhibition. Viewers the picture very much, and artists and critics have taken ambiguously. It was defined as "field-genre" – not a very good definition. Because the saddest girl in the woods by the river – it's just a superficial description of the picture, the essence of which is not limited to this. "Alenushka" is known as the embodiment of the Russian soul, female's, it seems out – of-tales- and this is a more complete look at her. And despite all the sadness and longing that is so convincingly shown by the author, from the picture there is a tragic feeling. Maybe because we remember that in fairy tales Lenusik all ends well?

Author: Alain Esaulova
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About the artwork

Art form: Painting

Subject and objects: Landscape, Mythological scene, Literary scene

Style of art: Art Nouveau

Technique: Oil

Materials: Canvas

Date of creation: 1881

Size: 173×121 cm

Artwork in selections: 107 selections

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