Description of the picture:
Autumn in Abramtsevo – Vasily Dmitrievich Polenov. 1890. Oil on canvas, 77.5×126
The painting “Autumn in Abramtsevo” is one of the most famous and iconic works of Vasily Polenov. The author perfected his landscape technique all his life, creating subgenres and finding new means of expression. The presented picture is a translator of the painter’s new idea in the field of composition composition – the author for the first time abandons his favorite technique of juxtaposing the foreground and background, unfolding before us all the beauty of the autumn forest, made from one point.
A wonderful work was written in 1890, when Polenov only returned from Paris. His main task now was to find a good quiet place for his future estate, for this he often went for river trips with his friend painter K. Korovin, admiring the picturesque banks. In one of such walks this work was conceived, and already very soon brilliantly executed.
The name of the picture emphasizes not only time, but also the place – this is Abramtsevo. This picturesque place, located just 60 km from Moscow, is called the “place of power” of Russian artists. But how could it be otherwise, because Mamontov himself and his family settled in this beautiful estate, and hospitablely hosted guests, the metropolitan intelligentsia, the most outstanding people of their time. Repin, Surikov, Vasnetsov, Nestorov, Korovin and many others came here to stay and work.
Vasily Polenov also visited the estate for inspiration and stories. Moreover, the artist became friends with the Mamontovs, fiddled with children a lot, taught them to walk on a boat, fell in love and created. Here Polenov met his love, and more than once. Twice his love crashed: the first time his secret lover suddenly died due to a medical error, the second time the feelings of the painter were rejected, but the third time he became happy – Natalya Yakunchikova, the sister of Mamontov’s wife, became a devoted wife and close friend of the artist. Here in Abramtsevo they got married. Moreover, Natalia Polenova subsequently created memoirs, which she called the closest word for them – “Abramtsevo”.
Knowing these facts, you evaluate this work in a completely different way, which reveals to us all the beauty of the reserved place of the master’s favorite estate.
Critics and viewers immediately noted the melodic sound and lyricism of the picture, although the work is characterized by a certain rhythmic rigor in compositional construction. However, the richest coloristic decision, the freshness of colors and some personal love relationship of the artist Polenov turned the work into a romantic elegy, delightfully beautiful and full-bodied.
A connoisseur of the artist’s creativity will notice that this time the author did not introduce a person or some other distracting factors into the plot. Polenov sought to accurately and finely convey the tiniest transitional states of nature. Here, autumn has already won its rights from summer, painting trees in bright yellow. However, in the air some kind of warm sensation still flies, which sends the viewer back to the more recent friendly summer days. This feeling is in a clear blue sky, in calm, mirrored water, in green, barely noticeable bald spots of grass on the shore, in quiet trees, the leaves of which are not yet shaken by a gusty autumn wind.
The merit of extraordinary realism and tactility of the canvas in scrupulous technique and unusually accurate selection of colors and shades, subtle transitions and harmonious contrasts. Well, of course, in the genius of the creator of the picture – only a talented hand could breathe life into work, create a masterpiece full of purity, poetry, love and natural splendor."