Description of the picture:
Shrovetide – Boris Mikhailovich Kustodiev. 1916. Tempera on canvas. 61×123
The canvases of the painter, graphic artist and theater artist B. M. Kustodiev on winter festivals and holidays are filled with joy and fun. Among them, the central place belongs to the image. Russian Shrovetide with horseback riding, fist fights and booths. This holiday for the artist is like a carnival, in which everything is decorative and beautiful: people richly dressed in colorful shawls and fur coats walk; horses rushing, decorated with ribbons, bells and paper flowers; and even nature itself put on its best outfits.
In his many paintings on Shrovetide and other festivities, Kustodiev was important to emphasize a dizzying whirlwind of emotions. Perhaps that is why the main motive for moving in them has always been the uncontrollably racing three. The dynamics of these works is based on compositional techniques of theatrical and decorative art: a contrasting play of light and shadow, the use of “wings”. These canvases are so decorative in their color and compositional construction that they resemble outlandish painted boxes. All the more surprising is the fact that most of the master’s works are written from memory and are generalized images of Russia as a whole. Their heroes are cleansed of all the negative: they are kind, poetic, full of dignity and live, respecting the laws and traditions. And there is an involuntary feeling that the way of the patriarchal world is inevitably a thing of the past."