Kustodiev Boris – “Fair”

The second “Fair” was written by Kustodiev in 1908. Compositionally, it is built as a view of the fairground crowd from the inside of the shop with painted clamps, Russian abacus on the wall, a teapot with a knitted bagel on the counter, and a figure of a seller depicted from the back. Man is here characterized through his things. Kustodiev sharpened, thickened the features of “Russianness” in the image of a fair, but the use of hyperbole for this purpose was not only his artistic method, life itself sometimes suggested such a path to him. In the painting “Fair” of 1908, on the right, a cart with a whole mountain of bast shoes is depicted, which is perceived by the viewers of our time as a kind of exaggeration, Kustodiev’s desire to sing the praises of the generous “redundancy” of the Russian fair. This is true, but there is another side to the matter. The Kostroma province was famous for the production of bast shoes from elm bast. Only at the fair in Kineshma, one hundred thousand bast shoes were sold per year, since this cheap, comfortable and soft peasant shoes, known in Russia since the 10th century, were in great demand due to their rapid wear. She was really brought to fairs in an incredible amount. The artist did not invent, but only emphasized this abundance of fairgrounds.

Year of painting: 1908.

Dimensions of the painting: 68 x 102 cm.

Material: paper.

Writing technique: gouache.

Genre: genre painting.

Style: modern.

Gallery: State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia.

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