Elk Island in Sokolniki, Alexei Kondratievich Savrasov

Description of the picture:

Elk Island in Sokolniki – Savrasov. 1869. Oil on canvas. 62×215; eighty eight cm

   One of Savrasov’s most famous works (of course, after the Rooks) is the landscape of Elk Island in Sokolniki.

   The painting survived three renames at one time: in one thousand eight hundred seventy the canvas first appeared before the viewer under the name “View of a pine grove” and won the first prize, in one thousand eight hundred seventy one it already had the signature “Sokolniki” under it, and a few years later, at the first exhibition of the Wanderers , the canvas was called “Elk Island”.

   The painting was created in the late 1860s and coincided with a new period in the artist’s work – he moved from the romantic hobbies of youth to realism, enriched by a certain symbolism and magical metaphysics.

   The main character of the picture is a pine forest. Slender trees are tall and straight, as if upturned to the sky, give the picture monumentality. In front of the forest there is a meadow on which a herd of cows is grazing measuredly. The cloudy sky, coupled with puddles in the foreground, gives a certain gloom and anxiety, however, the master does not “strike” the utmost philosophical, but resorted to detailing the plot – all the vegetation was written out very carefully and accurately.

   First introduced to the public, the painting received a positive assessment, and it was not even the first prize, but the fact that the canvas was immediately acquired by Tretyakov, a fine connoisseur and art connoisseur. It was the most talking mark."

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