Artist – Petrov -Vodkin

The canvas of Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin “On the Fire Line” was created in the midst of the war and is dedicated to the topic of sacrificial service to a high idea, love for the motherland. Presented in the days of the February Revolution of 1917 at the exhibition “World of Art”, the picture caused a flow of responses in the press. In his article, Leonid Andreev wrote: “The only center of the picture is the figure of a dying ensign. By sincere simplicity of expression, by the strength of ecstasy, by the skill of the drawing, I do not remember the other image of the “holy death”, which could be put in a row with this . He is alive, he looks – and at the same time you clearly see that he is dead, killed, that the earth no longer serves his feet, that he is all in the air, without support, like a ray, that he will collapse in the next instant forever Click to raw land. This extraordinary airiness, this flight on invisible wings is amazing. “.

The decision of Petrov-Vodkin’s themes on the battlefield appeals to the episodes of the novel “War and Peace” L. N. Tolstoy, and in the fragment of the depicted battle, the Khvalyn hills are again recognized and the Volga Volzhsky prolonged from the heights. The dynamics and statics of what is happening are emphasized on the figure of the ensign at the time of the transition of his life into other things.

The officer’s boy froze in his eternal stop, and his hand rests on his heart broken by a bullet. At this tragic moment, he ceased to be with those who continue the bayonet attack behind him. Soldiers are rhythmically connected by battle order, general system, common run. Their faces are one in the expression of doomed heroism. The face of the ensign, on the contrary, is calm and serene. He is already one on one with the God of God, his soul seems to be ascended over his native land, over the horizon, arable land, forests and villages leaving to the horizon line. He is a hero and a victim, and he is a winner over death. The theme of righteous death sounds in the picture as comfort, as a promise of salvation. The favorite saying of Petrov-Vodkin in the letters of those years: “May God save Russia”.

During the war, the artist served in the institutions of the military department in Petrograd, and the theater of operations could be observed directly. TO. WITH. Petrov-Vodkin created an epic-idealized image of the First World War, which reflected his artistic and theoretical system. The work is based on the principle of tricaria: blue, yellow and red colors (basic colors according to the concept of the artist). The slowdown in smooth movements, the emphasis of gestures that protect and threaten the slowdown in. Compositional principle "spherical perspective" allows you to depict everything that happens at the same time on top and side, transmit the sensation "Land as planets". Thus, the artist manages to create a work of planetary sound outside of time and space.

The second name of the picture "The first German war". Sketch to the picture (paper, watercolor, graphite pencil) – rgali, preparatory sketches (paper, Italian pencil, watercolor) – timing.

On the back of the inscription: "On the line of fire" (First German War), picture to.WITH.Petrova-Vodkina, donated to the Russian Museum as a keepsake of the author, who lived, worked and died in the city of Leningrad, September 1951. From the daughter of the author of Elena Kuzminichna and the widows of Maria Fedorovna Petrova-Vodkina.

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