Konstantin Alekseyevich Korovin
canvas on cardboard, oil
37.2 x 52.5 cm
State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow
In 1893, Korovin returned from Europe, dazzled by French Impressionism. The painter, who understood that Russian nature required a different style, made this landscape particularly warm. The landscape gives the impression of being a welcoming and intimate interior. The wide open gate, the sleigh harnessed to the horse and the half open door of the house indicate a human presence. It is one of the most intimate and personal of Russian landscapes; the harmony between man and nature is omnipresent. The studied use of shades of pearl may at first glance be somewhat tiresome, but the rich greys and yellows, and the blue of the sky, are striking. This painting is not a rejection of Impressionism but a search for a Russian variant thereof. By muting the resonance of the colours and varying the cold and warm shades, Korovin was able to represent the variations of light in the atmosphere. This work, and the artist’s trip to Northern Russia in 1894, were an important period in Korovin’s creative history, freeing him from the influences of other painters and allowing him to find his own style.