Konstantin Korovin (1861-1939): In a Boat, 1888, Oil on

Konstantin Korovin (1861-1939): In a Boat, 1888, Oil on

5/27/2021, 4:35:50 PM
Konstantin Korovin (1861-1939): In a Boat, 1888, Oil on canvas, 53,5 х 42,5 cm, The State Russian Museum, Saint Petersburg Korovin painted this piece in the summer of 1888 in the village of Zhukovka near the Klyazma River, where he stayed at the Polenovs’. It reflects the artist’s aspiration to create a thought-out composition. The work process resulted in a number of preparatory plein-air studies and sketches. The male figure had the artist himself and V.D. Polenov as prototypes, and for the female one it was the talented female artist M.V. Yakunchikova and her sister V.V. Yakunchikova, who was interested in decorative art. This art work’s theme is typical of the early Russian Impressionism: poetic immersion of man into the world of nature. The water in Korovin's work is depicted quite traditionally. The impressionist dynamics of the composition is combined with a smooth painting manner. Only the sun-dappled rich foliage and light dabs with which the girl’s fancy blouse is painted reveal an attempt to convey the plein-air mobility of the environment. The yellow colour of the boat serves as a colouristic reference point in the painting, reminding the colour of sunlit sand. It forms a rich colour combination with the girl’s dark blue skirt. Next to the neutrally painted male, her figure is marked out with light and is the emotional focus of the composition. Both figures are placed on the composition’s two main diagonals and that underlines their static character. They are united by a melancholic silence that makes their souls in tune with each other. (Russian Museum)

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