Description of the picture:
On a summer evening at the porch – Konstantin Alekseevich Korovin. 1922. Oil on canvas. 84 x 64 cm
Konstantin Korovin is rightfully considered the first and outstanding Russian impressionist. Although the painter himself was angry when he was ranked among the representatives of this direction. The master said that he was for “pure” painting, free from the strict canons of the academic school, as well as from all sorts of directions and “isms.” But looking at the painting “Summer Evening at the Porch” one cannot but notice that it was painted in a pronounced manner of impressionism. Here, and the richness of color, and contrasting comparisons, and a special light-air environment, and a sweeping writing technique.
Studying the heritage of Korovin, it can be noted that in his work very often there are rural houses, namely the veranda, porch, front. The paintings “At the Tea Table”, “Portrait of Chaliapin”, “Girl with a Guitar”, “Paper Lanterns”, etc. immediately come to mind. But if the actions of these works took place, so to speak, on the exterior, then in this work the author decided to show us porch from afar. Drowning in greenery, illuminated by artificial light and the light of the moon, the porch looks welcoming and romantic. The author as if invites the viewer to follow on.
Korovin was able to convey many picturesque nuances that allow, despite the conditional impressionistic style, to tell us about the reality of what is happening. This restless twilight sky, which is reflected in the stained glass window of the veranda, and the illuminated ceiling above the porch, and the uneven color of greenery – bright at the foreground of the picture, where the light reaches out, and dark to black in the depths of the canvas. The green in the foreground is depicted by brush strokes directed in one direction, which brings dynamism to the picture on the one hand, and some ephemerality of what is happening on the other. Perhaps this is not at all reality, but a beloved setting that pops up in my memory. Maybe this is exactly the house where the representatives of the so-called Abramtsevo circle gathered at the time, the center of which was the philanthropist Savva Mamontov …
Konstantin Korovin created this work shortly before he forever left his beloved homeland – on the urgent advice of A. Lunacharsky, the painter left for France from the new Soviet state, where he could not find a place for himself. It is known that the artist was very homesick. In Europe, he lacked Russian nature, native speech, birches, such evenings at the porch of a village house."