Spring was glorified in their work by poets and painters, because they found extraordinary beauty in it.
Spring is always the tenderness and charm of nature awakened after a long winter. This is an amazing time of the year, because it gives rise to such feelings in the soul as optimism, cheerfulness, hope, daydreaming, sentimentality.
Spring has a soul, dynamism, renewal, movement, striving for new things. The spring weather is attractive and contradictory, when the sun is already warming, the sky is painted in a bright summer color, but there is still snow, cold shadows are hiding under the trees.
It is this versatility, spaciousness and dynamics of nature that is attractive to Russian authors. Masters such as Aleksey Savrasov, Isaac Levitan and Konstantin Yuon were able to convey the contradictory spring mood incredibly vividly.
“The Rooks Have Arrived” Alexey Savrasov
The first sketches of this painting Savrasov wrote in the village of Molvitino (now the village of Susanino in the Kostroma region). The temple depicted in the picture is the Resurrection Church, which has survived to this day in the village of Susanino.
Empress Maria Alexandrovna liked the landscape “The Rooks Have Arrived” so much that she wished to have it in her collection. In January 1872, the first author’s repetition of the painting appeared. In 1873 it participated in the 1973 Vienna World’s Fair. The fate of this painting is currently unknown.
At first glance, the landscape is the most ordinary, but that is precisely why it is one of the most recognizable.
Spring is just beginning, the snow is gradually melting and has not completely melted yet. In the foreground are gnarled birches. Damp and dirty snow with leaves and broken twigs lies around, impenetrable puddles have spilled over. This is the most unsightly period of spring, but for every Russian this landscape seems familiar and dear.
The crooked, naked and faceless trunks of birches, the church and houses – all this seems lifeless. But in fact, life is in full swing around: rooks have arrived, they build nests and are preparing for the procreation.
“There is a soul in the painting” The Rooks Have Arrived “, – so the artist Ivan Kramskoy said, looking at the canvas. The plot of the picture is simple and understandable for everyone. Precisely because Alexei Savrasov managed to “animate” a piece of his small homeland, it became cult and became famous all over the world.
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“March” Isaac Levitan
The painting “March” was painted by Isaac Levitan in the Gorki estate, which belonged to the privy councilor Ivan Nikolaevich Turchaninov. His wife Anna Nikolaevna spent a lot of time there with her three daughters Varvara, Sophia and Anna.
The canvas “March” was painted in March 1895 from life, without sketches. The youngest daughter of the Turchaninovs, Anya, helped Levitan in his work. She carried a box of paints and watched the work of the master.
The landscape was bought by Pavel Tretyakov for his personal collection.
The yellow wall of the main house is visible on the right side of the painting. The day is sunny and the snow begins to melt. A country road approaches the porch. A horse with a log stands at attention on it, basking in the sun.
The cheerful motive of the picture shows the struggle of the outgoing winter and the coming spring, sunlight and cold snow. This is accentuated by the color contrast between dark pine trees and light, upward aspen trees. They reach for the sun. This upward aspiration is emphasized by the birdhouse located very high. It even gives the impression that it is attached to a very thin branch.
This soulful work demonstrates a joyful mood and anticipation of warmth. Everything around rejoices in the sun: a horse, aspen trees stretched upward, in the branches of which birds are probably chirping merrily. The mood is conveyed by bright colors, and the canvas itself seems to glow with this spring sunlight.
Read also: An artist from St. Petersburg “draws” landscapes with threads in the style of Van Gogh: “I do what I love”
“March sun” Konstantin Yuon
The painting was painted by the artist Konstantin Fedorovich Yuon in 1915 in Ligachev near Moscow.
Yuon excellently designed theatrical scenery and was a master of urban landscapes. Despite this, the artist was inspired by nature, folk costumes and ancient churches.
“I wanted to paint pictures of how songs are written about life, about the history of the Russian people, about nature, about ancient Russian cities …”, – this is how the master spoke about his love for landscapes. He worked with clean and bright colors, conveyed the spaciousness and light of the landscape.
The canvas extremely accurately conveys the play of light on the melted snow, which is combined with the pale blue sky. The snow is already a dirty gray, melted and heavy. It is not as fluffy white as it was at the beginning of winter.
In the foreground are two boys on horseback. Behind them is a foal, urged on by a black dog. The age-old trees are bare. Village houses are shown in the background. The street is deserted, probably still morning, and the children were eager to enjoy the first bright rays of the sun.
The plot of the picture is very optimistic. The artist managed to convey the awakening of nature, the feeling that winter is passing and very soon it will be warm. The trees are still bare, but the sun is already warm and the sky is almost summer. The dynamism of the movement of the characters in the picture makes it surprisingly alive. Sunlight foreshadows the imminent arrival of spring.
“Slush” Alexey Savrasov
Alexey Savrasov painted the painting “The Thaws” in 1894. The artist was very fond of spring and nothing on the canvas betrays the gloomy thoughts of its author.
The landscape was created in the village of Pokrovskoye, where Savrasov studied and carefully considered all the changes in nature. That time was the darkest in the artist’s life. He lost his job at the school and wandered through the shelter houses. The master often painted to order, and then sold the paintings for a pittance. He drank the pennies he received and lived in poverty.
The color of the picture is almost sunny, which is not typical for Savrasov. The snow gradually melts and nature awakens from sleep. The birches are depicted very thinly and seem to be woven out of thin air, as is the distant church in the background.
In the foreground is the muddy road itself – an impassable road with thawed patches, melted snow and puddles of melt water. Recently arrived birds are visible on the road.
The presence of man is felt in nature. In the deep rut of the road, it was as if a cart had recently got stuck. Village houses are visible nearby.
Nature is detailed and conveys the image of a rural spring with crunchy ice and sticky melted snow. This lyrical landscape is so realistic that it looks like a photograph. The viewer can feel the awakening of nature and the coming spring.
The landscape is dreamy with a hint of soft sunlight from somewhere behind the clouds. I just want to be transported to the picture, to feel the magical smell of a little thawed earth and a breath of wind that shook the branches. Each of us is familiar with this feeling, isn’t it?
“Early Spring” Isaac Levitan
Isaac Levitan painted the painting “Early Spring” in 1898. By this time, he already had serious heart problems, a congenital defect was making itself felt. That year, the artist was in Yalta for treatment and really missed his native place.
The landscape has a dreary and sad look, its colors are gloomy. If you look closely, you can understand that in fact the plot is dreamy and brooding. Nature just wakes up after hibernation.
In the foreground, patches of white melted snow are visible. The river is about to overflow, the water in it is dark and viscous. The sky is low and heavy. Last year’s dry grass and bare trees are still gloomy and impersonal. Only the evergreen trees in the background hint about the imminent onset of spring.
The composition is built on the basis of clear straight lines of the coast, forest and horizon. The picture shows endless space, dear to the heart of a Russian person.
In these pictures about early spring, the viewer can catch something very close and dear, smell the coming spring. The canvases are literally filled with feelings that boil over the edge, like spring streams, or, conversely, are lyrical and dreamy, like full-flowing spring rivers.
The ability to catch the cool wind of melting snows, smell the wet wood and the warmth of the spring sun, hear the sound of melting icicles from the roofs – this is what attracts us to canvases with landscapes of early spring. Every Russian person knows and loves these landscapes, because they remind him of the Motherland, wherever he is on the Earth.
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