Despite the fact that the most popular work Viktor Vasnetsov was written based on a Russian folk tale, painting "Alyonushka" not a simple illustration. The artist pursued a different goal - not so much to recreate a well-known plot, but to "revive" the fairy-tale character, to make the image close and understandable, to organically fit into the surrounding nature, to create a psychologically accurate portrait of the heroine.
Vasnetsov confessed to Roerich that Alyonushka was his favorite work. He began painting in the summer of 1881 in Akhtyrka, near Abramtsevo, the estate of Savva Mamontov, where the best artists of that time gathered. And he finished work in the winter in Moscow, where the artist often attended musical evenings at the Tretyakovs - perhaps this is one of the reasons that the picture came out so lyrical.
An old sundress with faded flowers, disheveled hair, rough bare feet in Alyonushka give out not an abstract fairy-tale character, but a very real girl from the people. Although in the facial features many guessed a resemblance to the daughter of Savva Mamontov Vera - the one who posed for Serov for "Girl with Peaches", all other details indicate that the prototype of the heroine was a peasant woman. Vasnetsov saw her in Akhtyrka, where he was at that time.
This version is confirmed by the words of the artist himself: “The picture seemed to have lived in my head for a long time, but I really saw it when I met one simple-haired girl. There was so much melancholy, loneliness and purely Russian sadness in her eyes … a special Russian spirit exuded from her."
Initially, Vasnetsov called the painting "Fool Alyonushka", but there is nothing offensive or ironic about the artist's attitude to his heroine. The fact is that the word "fool" in those days was called holy fools or orphans. Let's remember a fairy tale - after the death of their parents, Alyonushka and her brother Ivanushka are left alone, and desperate to find a naughty brother, Alyonushka feels like an orphan, lonely and abandoned. Some critics insisted that this is not a fabulous image, but the embodiment of the orphan lot of poor peasant women, which could be found in every village.
The artist creates the general mood with the help of precise landscape details: the quiet autumn wilting of nature, a dark pool at the feet of Alyonushka, muted tones, a gray sky in clouds, fallen leaves on the shore and in the water seem to emphasize the melancholy and hopelessness on the heroine's face. At the same time, the landscape cannot be called conventional or abstract - it is the recognizable nature of central Russia.
It was one of the first paintings in the history of Russian painting, where the inner experiences of a person were transmitted through a subtly reproduced state of nature. Considering that the picture was created based on a fairy tale, this is quite justified - psychological parallelism is inherent in many works of oral folk art.
The creation of the picture was preceded by the writing of a series of sketches that have survived to this day. By them we can judge the evolution of the artist's creative concept. The fact that the picture captures a very specific landscape is evidenced by the works "Alenushkin Pond" and "Pond in Akhtyrka", which recreate a forest and a pond in the vicinity of Akhtyrka.
At the end of the 19th century, when the picture was painted, no one could even suspect what would happen soon to many artists who were staying at the estate in Abramtsevo, and how will the fate of the "girl with peaches" - Vera Mamontova.
Popular by topic
Why sinners were called "the daughters of Melusine", or the myth of the damned fairy that shaped Europe
According to ancient legend, Melusine was the daughter of a Scottish king and a fairy. As a result of the curse, she was doomed to change from a woman to a monster every Saturday. Her two legs became fish tails. The image of Melusine is ubiquitous. It is a frequent heraldic symbol. Every European nation has legends about this fairy, and many royal dynasties descend from her. Melusine's image has even become a Starbucks emblem. In the patriarchal Middle Ages, this symbol
The funniest memes that appeared thanks to the senator in mittens and a mask and brought almost 2 million "green"
Joe Biden's inauguration was not without some curiosities. The attention of the whole world has attracted … no, not the newly elected President of the United States, but Bernie Sanders. The name of this politician was hitherto unknown to the general public. The elderly senator made a splash on the Internet with his photo in cute knitted mittens and a disposable mask. In just a day, the network was flooded with hundreds of funny memes with a politician. The best of them are further in the review
Why brides from all over the world go to the post office of a small town: the romantic secret of the province
When you think about the most romantic places on our planet, then this small, provincial, unremarkable town is unlikely to occur to you. But he is known to lovers all over the world. The post office of this village works in the rhythm of a big city. On Valentine's Day and the wedding season, lovers from all over the world want to send congratulations to their soul mate from this particular post office. What is the secret of this American town?
How teenagers and rock 'n' roll made vaccination fashionable: King Elvis saves the world from an epidemic
The polio virus has kept millions of parents at bay for years. In America, by 1955, tens of thousands of children were infected, many were disabled. Hope came with the discovery of a vaccine against this terrible disease. But those who wanted to be vaccinated were negligible. In search of a solution to this problem, the government attracted the most popular person in the United States at that time - Elvis Presley. The king of rock and roll was able to dramatically change the opinion of all Americans (and not only) about vaccination. How did the musician manage to
Most of the world has been calculating time for four centuries using a calendar called the Gregorian. The year of this calendar is divided into 12 months and lasts 365 days. One additional day is added every four years. Such a year is called a leap year. This is necessary in order to remove the difference between the movement of the sun and the calendar. This concept was introduced in the late 16th century by Pope Gregory XIII as a reform of the Julian calendar. The Gregorian calendar is generally accepted because