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Painting, 1910, 161×187 cm

Description of the artwork «Sleep»

"Sleep" Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin raised in St. Petersburg, a wave of desperate disputes, which did not abate for several years.Ilya Repin was offended by the painting so much that he wrote a letter to the editor of the newspaper "stock Exchange news", put the young upstart in shameful company withGauguin andMatisse and accused of slavish imitation of Western influences. Alias, anonymous, the scoffers one by one published article and has a lot of jokes: "...brick a young man is sleeping, and before him are two women, one purple, the other brick, too. Poor when he wakes up!" Alexander Benois not considered the best picture, but appreciated her color chord. Disputes are gradually moved with the figure of the young artist and his scandalous paintings to talk about art in General and about art in Russia. And Petrov-Vodkin understood that each new work that he now resolved to present to the public, will closely vysmatrivaya from both warring camps. There is no doubt, the patrol did not reduce eyes alert to any sign of artistic unrest.

And everyone wrote about "The dream"of course, trying to interpret in a symbolic way.
Lifeless, desolate landscape with an alarming volcano, the figure of a man, sleeping in a very uncomfortable position directly on the bare stones, two Nude female figures, apparently with different facial expressions, postures, and finally skin color. The origins of the composition found in"Dream knight" Rafael - this is not a random search direction. Petrov-Vodkin managed to have a good look at the painting of the Italian Renaissance, live in Paris, to listen to the "tired, well-started, songs Gauguin and Cezanne"had to learn in Munich Kandinsky managed, finally, to be angry at all the Palaces of the arts which so deftly tore it from the ground and carried away in speculative searches. Prayed at night the African desert that the universe took him back, opened his eyes and heart to his secrets.

Returning from artistic and mystical pilgrimages, Petrov-Vodkin and writes almost immediately "Sleep". And with his words, most likely, Alexander Benoit will explain the meaning of the story: "In the earth sleeping human genius, poetic consciousness. Awakening it is guarded by the two goddesses, always related to creativity. Pink, young, timid, sickly Beauty and a strong, dark, healthy Deformity. In their arms, in their intercourse genius will find a complete understanding of life, the meaning of things". This interpretation became canonical to the extent that this by the artist himself, an explanation critics believe fiction and later as a hoax. Say, came up with Petrov-Vodkin, a talented writer, painting a prophetic sense in hindsight. It is not surprising that after the turmoil of war and revolution the artist the meaning of the picture seemed quite different: he had already seen in his own youthful work, the moral and political stasis, the paralysis, which remained the society after 1905, the state of expectations, stagnation, torpor.

Symbolic, philosophical picture, not the name associated with the names of the actors, and should not be interpreted unambiguously. It all possible meanings that find critic and the viewer - the work is alive, changing and responding to the emotions and experiences of new people, lived up to the prophetic change. Any pre-condition, any strong oblivion, the omission on the eve of the awakening and the finding of truth, completeness the world, and inevitably difficult choices - all suitable.

Author: Anna Sidelnikova
from 1450 rub
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About the artwork

Art form: Painting

Subject and objects: Portrait, Nude, Genre scene

Style of art: Art Nouveau

Technique: Oil

Materials: Canvas

Date of creation: 1910

Size: 161×187 cm

Artwork in selections: 14 selections

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