Description of the picture:
The old mill – Vasily Dmitrievich Polenov. 1880. Oil on canvas. 135×88 cm
The landscape genre in the work of Vasily Polenov occupies a special place, and there is great irony in this. Dreaming back in the days of training to rest on the laurels of a master of historical painting, Polenov went down in the history of art precisely as an outstanding landscape painter. He created many “subgenres” – a poetic landscape, a narrative landscape, a mood landscape, etc., leaving lyrical descriptions of any places.
“The Old Mill” – the picture is unusually realistic and deep. This is a canvas with an internal history. The central place here is occupied, in fact, by the mill. Its heavy wheels darkened with time, the wooden frame was dilapidated, and the roof was a rough island of straw. But looking at the almost stagnant water of this pond, an empty mill, you can so vividly imagine how life was boiling here before – big wheels spun in motion, driven by a stream of water, the miller walked importantly, and carts with grain stretched to the mill.
Now this place is deserted and this abandonment, loneliness is perfectly emphasized by the background – a cloudy day and a heavy fog from which rare trees barely peep. Only a boy on the river bank brings movement to the picture, despite his static pose – he catches fish and seems to have quieted himself, afraid to wake this quiet abandoned place from a well-deserved dream."