Aristarkh Vasiliyevich Lentulov
oil on canvas, bronze
107.7 x 125.0 cm
State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow
Lentulov discovered works by cubo-futurists in Paris. Urban landscapes became very important for the painter. The dynamic use of colours is what distinguishes the painting. Architectural shapes dissociate from one another in smooth light-coloured surfaces, giving the impression of running. In some parts of the painting, the rhythm is dense, whereas in the others it is more spaced out. It is not a simple urban landscape at sunset, because the artist is trying to give an impression of movement and an accumulation of volumes and spaces of different colours. In the foreground is a slope characteristic of the terrain in Nizhny-Novgorod; the Kremlin wall (a 16th century fortress) sits atop the hill with stairs leading up to it. In the distance is a pink and purple river along which a ship is navigating, and a low blue and green shoreline extending behind the river. To the left is a monastery and a dock. Although the layout is flat, the vast spaces of the Volga are well delineated in this landscape. The brightly coloured buildings and the general composition of the work are reminiscent of a kaleidoscope.