Museums and Art

Sleeping in a nightmare, P.V. Kuznetsov, 1911

Sleeping in a nightmare, P.V. Kuznetsov, 1911

Sleeping in a nightmare - Pavel Varfolomeevich Kuznetsov. 67x72

Passion for the East was a typical phenomenon in the art of the early XX century. Paul Gauguin went to the distant islands of Polynesia, went to Henri Matisse to Morocco. It attracted the East and many Russian artists. Here they searched for inspiration V. D. Polenov, M. S. Saryan, P. V Kuznetsov and others. The East, which has not yet been touched by European bourgeois civilization, where the difficulties of social relations that the troubled XX century had brought, where human life seemed simple and natural, like the life of nature, seemed to them the embodiment of a beautiful dream.

Pavel Varfolomeevich Kuznetsov went to the Volga steppes to the nomads of the Kyrgyz and Kalmyks. The canvases written there are not landscapes in the usual sense and not genre sketches. More precisely, they can be called variations on one topic. The whole product of the cycle permeates one general mood.

The artist, as it were, touched the very secret of the universe, with the high beauty and poetry of life. In the peace and quiet of the steppes, in the rhythm of life of its inhabitants, the greatness and eternity of being revealed to him. And in the nature of the painting Kuznetsov seeks to express this. His paintings, small in size, are like majestic frescoes. Penetrated by a slow musical-singing rhythm, they are filled with solemn silence and peace. The artist depicted an open space of endless steppes, green, gold or lilac, with a high, then quiet and gentle, then majestic and solemn sky. The flowing silhouettes of female figures in colored clothes, brooding camels, and round nightmares organically woven them into the rhythmic structure of the landscape.

Kuznetsov and the inhabitants of the steppes wrote, moreover, he was interested in people not in the individuality and originality of each, but in what was common in them, which made an individual person a part of being.

The painting "Sleeping in a nightmare" imbued with the same sense of beauty of the world and serene peace as the image of the steppes. The subtle movement of the brush, as if afraid to disturb the girl’s sleep, the artist writes her light weightless figure on blue mats and golden, like magically shining flowers of the canopy. Colors shimmer with delicate shades, the line moves calmly and smoothly in the shape of the figure, or curiously coils in the patterns of the fabric. Like a dream, light and bright, captured by the artist on canvas.

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