The painting “Siverko” belongs to the brush of the Russian landscape painter of the late XIX – early XX century IS Ostroukhov, who occupies a special place in the history of Russian art. His name is associated not only with painting, but also with the opening of a private museum, collecting icons, teaching at the Academy of Arts.
The works of the painter, contrary to the Cold Appraisal of contemporary critics, were highly regarded by PM Tretyakov and acquired his canvases for his collection. The highest appreciation of the collector of Russian art was awarded to the landscape of “Siverko”, which was first exposed to the audience in 1890 at the next traveling exhibition and immediately received popular recognition and high appreciation of critics.
In the painting by IS Ostroukhov “Siverko” we see a picturesque curve of the river, which on our beautiful Russian land is a great many. Pouring into the foreground, the river rushes majestically
into the distance. Once the mirror of the river was motionless, it reflected a blue sky and a bright sun, but then began to blow siverko – the north wind. The river surface changed ripples, which ran along the shore with snakes. Light transparent water has acquired dark shades: purple, dark gray, blue and black. Between the banks, in the middle of the river, there is a small sandy beach covered with dark green grass. Two seagulls hover above the river. Their image did not leave many poets indifferent. K. Balmont wrote:
“A seagull, a gray seagull with sad cries is worn
Above the cold sea abyss.
And where did you come from? What for? Why her complaints?
So full of boundless longing? “
The river is between the two banks: the left – sandy sloping, the right – a steep cliff, on the yellow-brown slopes of which the grass grows. Its dark green bushes cover almost the entire front of the picture, creating an emerald-yellow carpet with rare patterns of white flowers. The north wind – siverko – is especially felt in this part of the picture. The
thickets of coastal grass obediently lean under its unfriendly cold gusts.
The right bank of the river, stretching through the whole picture, picturesquely frames a green-black strip of land. Green meadows with white flowers reach the dark strip of the forest, which stretches majestically along the entire horizon. Mighty trees grow close to each other, forming a black impenetrable wall. The majestic and rigorous forest reminds the guard, standing on the protection of state borders.
Gray cumulus clouds with dark edges float low across the sky. Only on the right are two small light-blue areas of the sky, reminding of the former serene sunny weather. Now it’s overcast. It is felt that under the sharp gusts of the siverko the sky pictures, formed from large clouds, rapidly disappearing into the distance, are rapidly changing.
Painting IS Ostroukhov “Siverko” causes mixed feelings: on the one hand – the alarm, the expectation of change, the state of search, which appear due to dark tones and gloom. S. Yesenin wrote:
“Gray days of a cloudy day They float past,
And the evening’s sadness Excites me irresistibly… “
On the other hand, there is a feeling of admiration – you can not help admiring the vast expanses of truly Russian nature: its power, breadth, strength and severity.
Various critics for many years and generations came to the same assessment of creativity IS Ostroukhov: “Siverko” is his best work – unique, deep and unique. Repin expressed his opinion about the picture as follows: “Siverko” – what a superb thing! How it is taken by the artist, as painted! Yes, this is a wonderful talented artist! “” There is a remarkable seriousness in this thing, there is some significance that does not allow the painting to grow old and preserve its vivacity of painting, clarity of thought and freshness of feeling, “so spoke of the canvas of the artist I. Grabar.
Indeed, it seems that Siverko IS Ostroukhov exists outside of time. This picture aroused the feelings of the painter’s contemporaries, makes an indelible impression now on us and, undoubtedly, will not leave our descendants indifferent either.