“It is impossible to study impressionists and be sad, as impressionism is all sun, joy and movement, and it exactly makes one joyous and cheerful. This phenomenon in painting was a very protest against dark, dull and joyless canvases which existed before. From dark dusty studious, the painting is brought out into nature, into the light, as artists began to draw the real sun, direct from life filling the picture with light and joy” Boris Kustodiev
Pyotr Konchalovsky, a leader of the “Knave of Diamonds” artistic association, was one of the main provocateurs of early 20th century art in Russia, who originally shocked his bourgeois audience with experiments that, by the mid-century, had themselves become classics.
Stanislav Zhukovsky (1873-1944) loved to make paintings full of understatement and elusive sadness, telling stories of the life of aristocratic estates, and recreating elegiac images of the past. In the canvas Interior of a Room the feeling of joy and comfort is paramount: the characters are the articles of furniture themselves, in their flaming mahogany, and the splendid flower arrangements adorning the cosy, sunlit interior. The artist managed with an amazing soft and emotional touch to bring out the warmth shining in the life behind the doors of this Russian manor house.
The love of life and cheerfulness of outlook that Nikolai Gorlov (1917-1987) presents through his paintings is remarkable. His landscapes, still lives and portraits are exuberant in color and filled with sunlight. The artist painted exclusively from natur& He could paint for hours outdoors focusing on the nuances of color without loosing the expressiveness and freedom of brushstroke.
Simplicity and realism characterize the landscape of Stanislav Zhukovsky (1873-1944), and the impressionistic manner of painting is used to impart liveliness and lyricism. This work is an embodiment of the idea that he famously expressed: “It is high time we stopped going to Paris for the fashions, it is time to shake off our centuries-old slave-like dependency, it is time to find our own national identity. Let us have a deeper regard for the endless beauty of our own, grey and modest, but infinitely musical and thoughtful Slavic soul”.
The French word impression carries the energy of an impress, an imprint, while in Russian language it means “vpechatleniye” which we recognize as addressing the soul rather than the vision.