Robert Rafailovich Falk
The Sun, Crimea, Kozi
oil on canvas
83 x 105 cm
State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow
Falk, who studied at the Moscow school of painting, sculpture and architecture, was a member of the Jack of Diamonds group. In the mid 1910s, he spent a great deal of time working on the shores of the Black Sea in the Crimea, in the Tatar village of Kozi, near the small town of Sudak. In speaking about this period, the painter said: “I like the contrasts between the bright colours and the expressive and generalized shapes; I even emphasize them by using sombre colours... To some extent, I paid tribute to cubism; by shifting forms, I attempted to strengthen emotional expressiveness.” In his painting The Sun, Crimea, Kozi, he intended to provide an incarnation of the eternity of mountains and of the slender shape of the cypress trees growing on the ancient land of the Crimea. But what is most important in this painting is the sunlight: the painter remembered that he had almost been blinded when he “looked straight at the sun.” The intensity of the brilliant sunbeams became transformed through the cubist prism into moving layers of light, whose shades covered the whole spectrum of colours.