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Bathers

Painting, 1911, 83.9×132.2 cm

Description of the artwork «Bathers»

In 2013 "Bathers" Mashkov was sold at the auction of Russian art Christie's for 6.7 million dollars. The painting was created on the verge of neo-primitivism, Fauvism and cubism. Unlike colleagues in the community of "Jack of diamonds", Mashkov wasn't fond of cubism by giving your attention and brush politicheskomu riot of colours. But this is a pretty obvious division of figures into parts, breast green – cone-shaped, on the back of "purple" does a wonderful geometric pattern. And still remains the main color.

In this case, it is not even about the shades: the female body just says green and purple. "Inadequate" for academic use of pure color – the technique not only Mashkov. "Why Wawa green?" later will ask the critics and the audience, looking at the portrait of the second wife of Marc Chagall.

At that time, often Russian avant-garde, passionate about French trends in art and French artists Cezanne, Matisse– wrote pure colors in contrast to the supporters of the academic currents that were mixed on the palette colors to achieve the desired "shade of corporeality". But replaced them with the painters did not want to follow the canons, they created their own, the next step in destroying them.

Mashkov depicting women's bodies in General an interesting story. He loved and wrote of naked women almost all his life. As a rule, they are completely devoid of elegance, but written space. The artist intentionally emphasizes their mass, physicality, flesh sparkles and shimmers, often due to the colors.

Perceived criticism of such experiments is very ambiguous. He was accused of being a model "all cuts and bruises; one cherry, as if bathed in the infusion, and most uncomfortable place of the yellow ACE carved by heart". 

It is known that sometimes Mashkov notorious "I'm an artist, I see" painted from nature, pre-paint his Nudes in matching colors. Often he used all the iridescent colors and not pure insane. He is clearly inclined to the full-scale image, it is a creative transformation of reality for Ilya Mashkov does not begin at the moment of touching brush to canvas, and at the stage of interaction with the actual reality.

The representative of the academic Konstantin Makovsky thought "among the Russians "Matissov and van goghs" the most impressive talent still- Muscovite Ilya Mashkov...And if inferior Matisse and van Gogh in the definition colorful pattern and the ability to "blend in" dissonances, which impress the French, the "color" can compete with any winner of the extreme modernism".

Author: Alain Esaulova
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About the artwork

Art form: Painting

Subject and objects: Nude

Technique: Oil

Materials: Canvas

Date of creation: 1911

Size: 83.9×132.2 cm

Artwork in selections: 6 selections

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