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Paris. Capuchin Boulevard

Painting, 1911, 65×80 cm

Description of the artwork «Paris. Capuchin Boulevard»

Paris, Boulevard des Capucines is the place where once was the monastery of the female branch of the Order of the Capuchins. In the history of impressionism, it is notable for the fact that in 1874, in the Nadar studio, on Capuchin Boulevard, 35 The first Impressionist exhibition.

Korovin visited Paris for the first time in the early 1900s thanks to Savva Mamontov. Since then, almost every year, sometimes more often, he came to the French capital (which at that time was also the capital of modern art). And after the revolution he emigrated to Paris, but that’s another story. He loved Paris very much!

Konstantin Korovin has created an excellent series with the conditional name "Lights of Paris". It includes about two dozen paintings depicting the night of Paris, lit by the lights of shop windows and lanterns. Including earlier version of "Capuchin Boulevard"(1906).

Of course, in the choice of the object, it is not original. Paris is the favorite model of many artists. First of all, looking at the Korovinsky boulevards, we recall the paintings of the same name by Claude Monet (1, 2). The French proclaimed the main characters of their paintings light and color. Refraction of light rays, color contrasts, shine, effects - that was what interested them in the first place. They sought to convey a variety of impressions of fleeting observations with different lighting, so they wrote far more often during the daytime - be it dawn, day or twilight. Although there were exceptions: for example, Camille Pizarro and his “Boulevard Montmartre. Night". But still most often the paintings of the Impressionists are illuminated by the sun — sometimes bright, sometimes setting or hidden behind the clouds.

In the 80s, in a conversation with fellow artists, Konstantin Korovin somehow dropped that day landscapes are a studied stage, artists from all sides have already mastered what sunlight is. But to write the night is new, this is the "mystery of the night" (1, 2). She wanted to comprehend her. However, he is not the first. If the impressionists preferred daylight, then post-impressionist Van Gogh is world famous for his legendary “nights” (1, 2, 3). And in Russian painting, the path “to the night” was laid by the great lover of night landscapes Arkhip Kuinji (1, 2, 3).

Night Paris, as a rule, Korovin writes in small multidirectional strokes, the outlines of objects and people are barely outlined. The Boulevard des Capucines, like many other Parisian paintings, the artist shows us from above. In all likelihood, he liked to settle on the balcony of the hotel and write. The color and dynamics in this case are more complex than in the previous, early “Capuchin Boulevard”. If in the work of 1906 the coloristic center is clearly highlighted and given by the angular illuminated showcase, then in the version of 1911 there is no longer that unambiguity, the picture is very dynamic, it conveys what is called the breath of the city. Thanks to the horizontal composition (as opposed to the vertical one in the previous version), we see not only the boulevard, but the entire noisy intersection. This is the time of the appearance of the first passenger cars. In the human crush are distinguishable and cars, and horses, and pedestrians. Evening illumination makes the city especially elegant and at the same time it remains everyday, this is not a festive version of Paris for “those who come in large numbers”, this is how it is from the inside, so it probably appears to the Parisian. And, it seems, the future Parisian Konstantin Korovin is very fond of, and at the same time, those who have the opportunity to admire the cow's “Fires of Paris”.

By the way, Paris in the light of day in the works of Korovin is also great (1, 2) ...

See also:
- collection of paintings "France in the pictures of Konstantin Korovin"
- selection "Capuchin Boulevard in Painting"

Author: Alain Esaulovbut
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About the artwork

Art form: Painting

Subject and objects: Urban landscape

Style of art: Impressionism

Technique: Oil

Materials: Canvas

Date of creation: 1911

Size: 65×80 cm

Artwork in selections: 25 selections

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