Composition on Kuindzhi’s painting “Night”

Composition on Kuindzhi’s painting “Night”

“Moonlit Night on the Dnieper,” perhaps, the most famous picture of AI Kuindzhi. The creation of the painting in 1880 was a real sensation. To the general public she was delighted from the very moment of her appearance. The picture was admired by I. Kramskoy and I. Polonsky, I. Turgenev and D. Mendeleev.

The impression that the picture produced and produces on others, the more surprising that it is not distinguished by some unusual story, but is a usual landscape, besides very small in size. Any spectator stops in front of the picture, mesmerized by the amazing radiance of the moonlight. The picture is simple in content.

The greenish ribbon of the Dnieper crosses the plain. Its vast expanse almost merges at the horizon with the night sky with a ripple of weightless clouds. Light clouds parted slightly, releasing the window for the moon. The night shone illuminated the river, the cobweb of paths and the Ukrainian huts creeping along the shore.

Phosphorescent light reflected from the mirror surface of the Dnieper and spilled around, immersing the earth in a mysterious and magical world. And the whole nature froze, mesmerized by the beauty of this picture. A majestic and solemn peace fell to the ground, recalling the eternity of the universe and the eternal beauty.

A brilliant compositional solution, the masterful use of certain pictorial techniques allowed Kuindzhi to achieve the complete illusion of vibrant moonlight. This illusion was so strong that the audience searched for the cause in particular properties of the colors or in the source of the illumination. Time, of course, left its imprint on the picture – it began to get dark. But the magnificent moonlight, captured by a remarkable artist, has such power that it still makes viewers think about the eternal and Divine.


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Composition on Kuindzhi’s painting “Night”