Kustodiev – “Celebration on Uritsky Square in honor of the opening of the 2nd Congress of the 3rd Communist International”

Many familiar old holidays before the eyes of the Kustodievs were fading into the past, they were replaced by new ones, and the artist became an eyewitness – a depiction of some of them. He got especially strong impressions in the summer of 1920, when, in connection with the celebration of the opening of the Second Congress of the Communist International, Kustodiev was driven around the city in a car, and he also visited the Winter Palace. The result was a painting in which the artist unfolded before the viewer a motley spectacle of many scenes taking place on Palace Square, renamed in honor of the leader of the Petrograd Cheka, who was killed on the day of the Social Revolutionaries’ assassination attempt on Lenin. He depicted rallies at the foot of the Alexander Column and in the distance, at the wall of the Winter Palace, a demonstration, a promenade, an orchestra, children, nurses, Red Army men, sailors, typical types of people in various national costumes, a reader of the Pravda newspaper and much more.

The laconic accuracy in “grasping” a variety of life types, different from what was previously accustomed to Kustodiev, amazes with its skill, but in terms of color scale this is one of the artist’s most “disharmonized” works.

Year of painting: 1921.

Dimensions of the painting: 133 x 268 cm.

Material: canvas.

Writing technique: oil.

Genre: genre painting.

Style: realism.

Gallery: State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia.

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