Kustodiev Boris – “Frosty Day”

Many of Kustodiev’s paintings in their plots are associated with the natural calendar, with the eternal cycle of the seasons, each of which required stable types of seasonal village work, was accompanied by a certain order of church holidays, and once again encouraged to reproduce the prevailing folk customs. The artist painted landscapes in his canvases, as a rule, from memory, which cleared them of the quivering sensation of direct natural perception, but at the same time strengthened the typical features of this or that season. This is also reflected in those works where Kustodiev, it would seem, conveys a very specific state of nature. In Frosty Day, he developed a picturesque effect of the cold light of the winter sun over the squat houses of a provincial town, trees in bluish hoarfrost and a crossroads, where a janitor slowly and rhythmically sweeps snow, and a reckless driver rushes past with young ladies riding in sleighs. Despite the richness of the colorful scale used here, the image is entirely made “from oneself”, according to memories and imagination. This does not mean, of course, that Kustodiev completely neglected landscapes painted from life: if he had not had the experience of many such works, mainly etude, he could not have created reliable and convincing images of nature from memory.

Boris Kustodiev’s painting “Frosty Day” depicts a small provincial town. It’s a wonderful clear frosty day outside, the janitor is sweeping the snow, the sleigh is racing. The viewer feels the frosty breath of the Russian winter, so skillfully depicted Kustodiev of the Russian winter.

The artist has always been attracted by the provincial life with its festivities, holidays, fairs. He often turned to folk traditions, and this picture was also no exception. Every painting by Kustodiev shows his love for Russia. It doesn’t matter to him at all how calm, cheerful or restless she is. He appreciated the history of a great power, at the same time, he did not cease to respond vividly to current events in the life of the country.

The painting “Frosty Day” is painted with unnaturally bright colors, it helps not only to see, but to realize with all the skin this wonderful frosty day. A joyful mood flows from all corners of the picture, Kustodiev was able to make an ordinary plot a holiday of the soul. This once again confirms the skill of the Russian painter.

The painting leaves a feeling of movement, its dynamism is felt by the whole body. Such a tone is set by the harnessed sled racing in the background. Everything that Kustodiev portrayed in the picture is not accidental, each stroke has its own special meaning. From every little thing, every detail, the perky charm of a frosty winter day is formed.

Year of painting: 1913.

Dimensions of the painting: 70 x 98 cm.

Material: canvas.

Writing technique: oil.

Genre: genre painting.

Style: modern.

Gallery: State Art Museum named after A.N. Radishcheva, Saratov, Russia.

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