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On the river Oka

Painting, 1889, 40.8×76.5 cm

Description of the artwork «On the river Oka»

Biography of Abram Arkhipov devoid of any hint of scandal, and disposition of the artist differed calm, if not serene. But being accepted into the Association of traveling art exhibitions, the first exhibition of the Wanderers, he managed to present the cloth, going against the prevailing standards prevailing in the society.

Together with his friends at the Moscow school of painting, painters Ivanov, Hruslovand Vinogradovin 1888 Arkhipov travels by boat along the Volga. In a way, they make stops in coastal villages, write sketches – so is born the idea of the painting "along the river Oka".

Sun beam Golden

In all probability, exactly a river cruise Arkhipov spied story with heavy, overloaded with baggage and people by barge, slowly creeping to their destination. Despite a deceptively simple story, the painter was able to translate it so accurately and authentically that the painting was purchased by Tretyakoveven before it debuted in 18-th exhibition of the Wanderers in 1890.

Reviews the film has collected quite controversial. On the one hand, it was difficult to ignore the obvious talent Arkhipova in a truthful display of prosaic everyday scenes, painting absorbed in serious thoughts of the peasants. It is manifested in the finest work with a brush that light, fluttering impressionistic brush stroke weightless woven canvas serene surface of the river, flowing elusive in the vast sky.

The picture created a furore in the press "On the river Oka" was called one of the most outstanding exhibits. The critic Stasov wrote: "The whole picture is written directly into the sun that feels right all around, every shade and luster around the wonderful overall impression; of sitting on the barge men and four women - are great in the infinitely truthful posture in which they, an idle, tired and dull in silence sit in their bales... And it's all expertly grouped, truthfully, simply, but beautifully!"

Spoke enthusiastically about the work of Arkhipov and the artist's wife Polenov, Natalia: "It was kind of a revelation. Brightness, sunshine colors struck, it seemed that nature itself was struck by the talent of the master. We ran to watch and enjoy; Arkhipov immediately identified and taken a strong place among artists".

Boat, swim

But General admiration are unable to separate themselves Wanderers. Because the picture Arkhipova, "On the river Oka" does not fit into the ideals of Partnership, from which it left a trace: the social context and class line – peasant theme.

Painter dared to depart from the travelling art of tragedy in the view of the hardships of life of the common people, and underlined the realism characteristic of this movement, he switched to "frivolous" impressionistic impression-etude detects tranquility and originality idyll where faithful Wanderers would push to the fore the drama of a difficult share of the Russian peasantry.

Coming from a poor, almost impoverished peasant family, Arkhipov not want to share a similar look at the environment that nurtured it and fostered. The faithful son stayed her throughout her creative life, but dramatic hand-wringing rather colorful optimism. The artist could not see and do not glorify the rough beauty of rural women (1, 2, 3). It was the most intense, life-affirming paints for painting the simple pleasures of everyday peasant life (1, 2, 3).

And though 10 years later Arkhipov write a truly critical canvas "Washerwoman"the atmosphere of despair which would have fit like a glove travelling art standard, from his characteristic naturalism painter depart even further than the painting "along the river Oka". Once he felt the freedom and all the available ways of expression of volatile impressions that gives impressionism, Arkhipov will not be able to fully return to a dull, chilling hands and feet, realistic re-creation of scenes from the life of the Russian peasantry.

Picture Arkhipova, "On the river Oka" – the most important transitional milestone on his artistic path, which opened new horizons of expression. From diligent work and sharp lines of the early works he refers to bold, sweeping and sensual smear, don't forget to grab another signature technique of the Impressionists. Cropped the bottom edge of the canvas part of the vessel engages the audience in what is happening, making us one of the passengers arkhipovskiy rook.

Author: Natalia Azarenka
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About the artwork

Art form: Painting

Subject and objects: Landscape, Genre scene

Style of art: Impressionism

Technique: Oil

Materials: Canvas

Date of creation: 1889

Size: 40.8×76.5 cm

Artwork in selections: 20 selections

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