Kustodiev Boris – “Russian Venus”
While thin, unsmiling girls with pensive and tragic faces appear in the paintings of decadent artists, Kustodiev writes bright, full of Russian beauties, the most famous of which is “Russian Venus”, written by him from his daughter Irina.
Despite the fact that the artist supported and approved the revolution, in all the paintings of this time his love for everything primordially Russian, traditional, gone into the past, including traditional beauty, is clearly manifested.
The golden hair of the beauties of the Renaissance, as in the paintings of Titian, and at the same time a strong, healthy body and simple-minded, far from perfect, but kind and sweet face. He placed his heroine in a simple and unpretentious setting of a village bathhouse, with a window overlooking a winter landscape, in sharp contrast to the steam and a flushed girlish body.
“I don’t know if I managed to do and express in mine what I wanted — love of life, joy and vigor, love of my own, Russian,” the artist said shortly before his death. “It was always the only subject of my paintings.”
Year of painting: 1926.
Painting dimensions: 200 x 175.
Writing technique: oil.
Gallery: Nizhny Novgorod Art Museum, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia.