Alexander Mikhailovich Gerasimov is a well-known Soviet artist whose works refer to realism and socialist realism. Many of his paintings – landscapes, still lifes, portraits related to these areas – amaze with their liveliness and color. Landscapes of Gerasimov in appearance are simple, but in every work you can find something that will affect the soul, cause a surge of emotions, will be remembered for a long time. However, his work “After the Rain” stands out among other paintings of the artist. The creator himself paid particular attention to this work in his memoirs about life and work.
This painting, written in one breath in the hometown of the painter Kozlov, is not a momentary creation. Having left for a quiet town for the sake of quiet and quiet pastime, the artist, however, continues to create. Here, still-lifes and portraits are born, sketches of landscapes, captivating with calm beauty.
The moral and creative preparation of the artist for
writing this work has been going on for a long time. Gerasimov often sketched grass, objects, roads and roofs, wet from the rain. Many recognized that this experience works out particularly well for the artist.
In her memoirs, the creator’s sister painted a colorful picture of the creation of the painting: the day of writing the canvas was a particularly strong and stormy summer shower. After it, the nature looked unusually fresh and picturesque: the water, sparkling in the sun, lay on the foliage, the floor of the veranda, the paths of the garden. And above the trees of the garden, a cloudless, freshly washed sky drifted away into the distance.
Admiring the view before him, the artist stood at the easel. Literally in three hours was written one of the most picturesque paintings of the artist.
What attracts this easy, even poetic work? The painting depicts a rather ordinary landscape – a corner of a gazebo or a veranda with carved rails and a bench along them. The composition of the work is extremely simple: on the right, somewhat disturbing the balance, there is an antique table with
a vase in which there are flowers – most likely simple garden. On the left is the floor and the railing and bench that go to the right. Everywhere: on the floor, bench, table – the water glistens and shines, and immediately after the gazebo begins the garden, also wet from the recent rain.
The colors are clean, bright, joyful – the green foliage of the wet foliage, the gold and the dark bronze of the rain-washed tree, the pure azure of the sky beginning behind the veranda and reflecting in the puddles on the floor. A special color spot is a bouquet in the vase – a cheerful and pleasant pink color in combination with white and green.
The picture does not leave a feeling of exertion, of artificiality. Images captured by the artist, fresh and light, direct and clean – they feel the swiftness and lightness of the painter’s brush.
What is the similar effect of reliability and at the same time ease of image achieved? When working on the canvas, the artist used the technique of reflexes – the so-called artistic and visual technique, in which small parts play a huge role. In this case, the key moments that create a special mood of cleanliness and freshness are reflections and reflections: juicy green brush strokes on the veranda reflections of looming garden greenery, bluish and pink spots on the table – reflections and reflections left on a wet surface by a bright spot of a bouquet. The entire canvas is permeated with interweaving of shadows and light, but the shadows do not leave oppressive and pressing feeling, on the contrary – they are colorful and multi-colored. A lot of silver and mother-of-pearl are sunny glare on wet surfaces and leaves.
When creating images of wet surfaces to achieve the effect of special reliability, the painter applied the technique of glazing. When using such a tool, the paint is applied in several layers – first the main paint smear, then – a few translucent and completely transparent strokes. In this case, the surfaces and objects written in this technique look brilliant, as if lacquered. This becomes especially noticeable on the fragments of the picture depicting the plot of the veranda’s wooden floor, the surface of a long bench, the table top.
A contrasting spot is a bouquet written with deliberately rough, broad strokes. Thanks to this, the flowers look especially impressive – volumetric and lively.
You should also pay attention to light accents. It is thanks to them that the picture looks alive and somewhat solemn. The main sources of light are outside the perspective of the canvas – somewhere beyond the trees of the garden. At the same time, the light is not bright, it does not strike in the eyes – it creates the effect of the summer sun peaking out from behind the clouds, which has crossed in the afternoon and is heading for the sunset. The trees in the background of the canvas, as if woven from thousands of shimmering green glasses and resembling stained-glass works, turn out to be illuminated along the contour and thus highlighted from the overall composition of the picture. This artistic technique is called kontrajur.
The general mood of the picture is fresh, sparkling, joyful. The artist managed to reveal the poetry and beauty of ordinary, rather mundane things. The beauty of the objects depicted is simple and uncomplicated, but with the help of these simple, at first glance, water-filled things, the creator transmitted the freshness of the cool, still rain-covered garden.
Sincerity and purity of feelings, which Gerasimov could convey to his work, fascinate and charge with a special energy of freshness. It seems that you stretch out your hand, touch the clean, still wet leaves of the hanging branch – and cool drops will pleasantly refresh your skin after a sweltering and hot summer day. A fresh breeze will bring with it the smell of moist earth and grass, the sun, gently looking through the gaps between the trees, will touch the cheek – and here it is, simple and sincere, like the picture itself, the happiness of intimacy with nature will overwhelm you like a storm that has just passed.