This landscape has just arrived into my collection.
It was painted by Kim Britov, the founding father of the Vladimir School of painting.
The colours he used bring out the blue in a way a photo can’t capture it. So you’ll have to take my word for it: a friend of mine who helped me to unpack it yesterday and was the first to see it was mesmerised by its blue harmony.
The azure waters of the lake suck in the viewer like a mermaid song. Exposure to this painting is not recommended to people with suicidal tendencies: they risk drowning.
What this landscape is about? Or, shall I put it this way: Why did I pay a helluva lot of money for this painting?
It is a story about nature in transition, struggling through a conflict between two seasons. Winter has just trespassed on the Autumn territory. Autumn is a punctual season, and regardless of whether Global Warming is a hoax or not, it comes right after Summer, always on time and people never scold it, if it’s a bit late. Winter loves to show up early making a dramatic entrance. The early snow may soon melt, but everyone is left with the impression of impending Winter anyway. You get the premonition of Winter you’d like not to have at least for the next couple of months.
The world froze for a moment in this painting, being startled by this early entry of M-me Winter, who gate-crashed the party of yellow fields and brown trees.
The Church, which is the brightest spot in this painting, tells you to accept and enjoy this world, with its mix up of autumns and winters, for there can be a higher purpose in life than the next harvest. Early snow? It’d melt. Be patient.
In this call for patience this landscape is very Russian, for Russians value their ability to wait out troubling times has always been worthy of the Guinness Book of Records.
Now, once I understand this landscape for what it is, what do I feel about it? A few friends told me that instead of doing autopsies on artworks I better watch them “spontaneously” and be “simply emotional” about them. I can’t agree with this. Having done the dissecting, I can experience a longer-term and deeper emotion than otherwise. (But that’s me. Other people may feel differently).
I feel calm, and my reservoir of patience is replenished. I am reminded that even the gloomiest season can provide enjoyment, that human ability to enjoy life doesn’t have to depend on the weather or, let’s generalise a bit, circumstances on the outside. It is all about the inside state of mind. And, trust me, that’s a stong feeling, given the kind of day I had today, rushing and running to and fro since morning until now.
Thank you, the Daily Post for reminding me that sometimes, I need to say what I feel about a work of art, not just what I know about it.