“Pier in Gurzuf”, Konstantin Korovin – description of the painting

Description of the picture:

The pier in Gurzuf – Konstantin Alekseevich Korovin. 1914. Oil on canvas. Eighty nine x one hundred twenty one cm

   This picture belongs to the best paintings of Korovin, created by him during the First World War. He always liked Crimea, here he was more than once, and everyone aroused delight in him. Although the reason for the visit in one thousand nine hundred fourteen was sad and was associated with his son Alexei, the artist found the strength to write amazing paintings in depth and ease of perception.

   This painting depicts a pier in the small resort town of Gurzuf, very popular with the then relaxing public. The canvas is painted in exceptionally cheerful and bright colors that perfectly reflect the hot Crimean summer. The landscape is flooded with sun, so there are clear shadows and incredible sun glare on the water everywhere. The whole image is created by numerous, energetic and sweeping strokes, giving the picture dynamics and expressiveness. Brushstrokes of different sizes, densities and colors, so that the paint on the canvas literally shimmers and glows.

   A typical day in the life of holiday-makers unfolds before the viewer: under a canopy in the shade sits a woman in a white summer dress and a large hat decorated with red and pink flowers. In front of her on the table are several bottles of colored drinks and a full glass. There are two more chairs at the table, pushed aside so that it becomes clear: just a minute ago, two more people were sitting here.

   Behind the back of a woman, a colorful landscape unfolds. A large sailboat with unfolded sails is floating across the sea, people are crowding on the pier, it looks like they are waiting for the arrival of the ship. Most likely, these people go sailing or wait for those who arrive on the schooner. Around splash and shimmer waves of the Black Sea. The background to this lyrical and joyful image is the city, which rises on the steep coast. It is impossible to distinguish a specific image of the individual components, and this is not required. A city is a cluster of white and colored houses scattered on the canvas with juicy spots. A hot summer bliss literally comes from the picture.

   The sky is written in an equally expressive and energetic manner. Clouds moving from the Crimean mountains move along it, but they almost merge with the blueness of the sky, adding lilac, grayish and bluish colors to it. Multidirectional strokes add airiness and mobility, make the clouds more real, “tangible”.

   The picture pleases with light and color, there is no tension and fear in it, as if there is no war and misfortune. This canvas is a dream of happiness, complete, boundless, calm."

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