The composition of Ostroukhov’s painting “The First Greens”

The composition of Ostroukhov’s painting “The First Greens”

Ilya Ostroukhov (1858-1929) was born and grew up in Moscow and devoted all his work to the landscapes of the central strip of Russia. One of the most famous of his paintings, located in the State Tretyakov Gallery is the painting “First Green”, written in 1887-1888 g.

For those who know and love the suburbs, the picture “The First Greens” will be easily recognizable – there are so many cozy and lovely corners of nature in these places. And a mixed forest, in which firs, birches, maples and lindens are neighbors, and small picturesque rivers on which the fairy-tale Alenushki sits are all immediately recognized by those who grew up among this beauty.

Cold glimpses of blue tones on the water and between the trees remind the viewer that the summer heat is still far away. In the picture there is a clear sense of a quiet, but cold spring morning, when the water, trees, grass, and even the air are frozen in anticipation of the first rays of the sun. And the sun is close – it already lights up and on the leaves trembling with the morning freshness, and in the grass, and on the water. The water in the river is also reminiscent of the recent winter – I do not want to go into it. Physically you feel that the water has just been freed from the ice, and if you put your hand in water, it will burn it with icy breath.

The clear signs of early spring in the picture are the islets of a dark earth, with which, as if the snow had

just come down, combined with the bright and juicy green of a young grass that has already begun to conquer its legitimate space.

As a true artist, Ostroukhov shows all the diversity and riot of green color. In the distance, the evergreen undergrowth spruce trees glimpse dark spots, and on their background the young foliage of the birches glows with a green twinkle. Thin trees in the foreground just released their first leaves, and the trees on the other side of the river are reflected in it still in winter strict silhouettes. And only nests on bare branches say that birds have arrived and for them spring has already begun. In the green grass there is the freshness of the first greenery, and the yellow memories of the past autumn, and the blue glow of the frost that has not yet melted after the cold night, or the first spring flowers.

The picture is amazing, there is a lot of air in it that you want to breathe, and the longer you look at the picture, the more you feel its transparency and freshness.

Ostroukhov’s landscapes, including his famous “First Green”, occupy a worthy place in the main art gallery of our country.


The composition of Ostroukhov’s painting “The First Greens”