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After the rain

Painting, 1890-th , 18×11 cm

Description of the artwork «After the rain»

Arkhip Kuindzhi was phenomenally successful during his lifetime. The public lined up for his exhibition - although there was only one painting presented there, "Moonlit night on the Dnieper", for which the Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovich laid out a fabulous 5,000 rubles (and then Kuinji made 5 author repetitions of this canvas - and sold one of the copies to the collector Dmitry Botkin, too, for 5,000!).

This medal had a different side - Kuindzhi was strongly criticized. The list of claims to it listsAlexander Benoit: “... the tendency to cheap effect, to theatrical methods, his indulgence in the rude tastes of the crowd. After all, the best Russian people believed then that Kuindzhi was a genius that was not in the history of art. It never occurred to anyone that he was, in fact, a rather weak echo of the French impressionist movement. ”.

Claims sound like an avid Kuindzhi wrote his own spectacularly impossible - you can't argue - the landscapes just because it guaranteed him a delight of naive viewers and generous fees. And not because competition with nature, attempts to reproduce its special effects on canvas (Moonlight, rainbow, fog, heat) really occupied the artist.

This tiny sketch "After the rain" (18x11 cm, less than a tetrad sheet) proves the opposite: special effects interested Kuindzhi even when he was not interested in the enthusiasm of the public.

Ink sky and bright green grass, illuminated by the sun that is already penetrating through the clouds, were written in the years of retreat. The last 20 years of his life the artist painted pictures, but, with very rare exceptions, did not receive guests in the studio and did not arrange exhibitions. However, he did not live in misery. Kuindzhi was also gifted as a businessman — he had three profitable houses at his disposal and enough money to gain success as a generous benefactor. He donated 421,800 rubles and 228 acres of land on the Southern coast of Crimea only to the Society of Artists named after AI Kuindzhi before his death.

And this Kuindzhi, who no longer needs to impress anyone, is hunting for rain to fix a special light on a piece of cardboard, which arises for a moment after the rain. He continues to be interested in scientific discoveries that would help him transform paints into the light in the pictures: his friends — the chemist Mendeleev and the physicist Petrushevsky — were sources of information for Kuindzhi. And he conveys his knowledge and experience to his disciples - for which, from the above quoted, Benoit deserves praise: "He opened their souls and eyes to them, suddenly tore off the boring, deadly shroud of academic scholasticism from reality and showed them its full nakedness and charms."

“All subtle aesthetes reproached Kuinji for tactlessness: to take such harsh moments of nature that hurt his eyes. But nobody thought about their eyes - they looked without blinking: they didn’t tear them away, it happenedwrote Ilya Repin. More than a hundred years have passed, but nothing has changed. Natural special effects are still of interest to the public - in 2019 Kuindzhi's exhibition again collected queues. And artists, who now have the opportunity to operate not only colors. In 2004Olafur Eliasson built in The Tate Gallery an installation of The Weather Project from artificial sun and fog - if it had been inside Arkhip Kuindzhi, he would surely have looked without blinking.

The author: Natalia Kandaurova
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About the artwork

Art form: Painting

Subject and objects: Landscape

Style of art: Impressionism, Romanticism

Technique: Oil

Materials: Cardboard

Date of creation: 1890-th

Size: 18×11 cm

Artwork in selections: 19 selections

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