Description of the picture:
Children running from a thunderstorm – Konstantin Egorovich Makovsky. 1872. Oil on canvas 100 sixty seven x 102
One of Konstantin Makovsky’s most recognizable works, Children Running From A Thunderstorm, was written in one thousand eight hundred and 70 two years. This period of the artist’s creativity, which was characterized by versatility, is called by the critics “mobility”. The painter intensively participated in traveling exhibitions, supporting the ideas of I. Kramskoy, V. Perov, N. Myasoedov, N. Ge and other masters who defied dry academicism.
The presented work is indescribably sensual and catchy. The main characters, the kids, are brought to the frontal plane by the artist – the viewer is so close to the guys that he can examine the emotions on their young faces in detail, and it seems that we ourselves are ready to start running across the field, trying to get ahead of the inexorably approaching thunderstorm.
The sky darkened, and heavy thunderclouds bent to the ground. Everything says about the rainy element, which is about to begin. But to children this bad weather seems a catastrophe, and the girl’s facial expression is distinguished by special excitement. Involuntarily you start to think: what did scare the heroes all the same? Does a thunderstorm bring such a nightmare to village children, or is the barefoot girl worried about something else, for example, is she afraid that her little brother will get wet and be scolded at home? Indeed, a complex rural life introduced the usual rule – care for younger children lies entirely on the shoulders of the elders, so the heroine’s concern is not unreasonable.
The scenery that Makovsky “built” around the characters echo their mood. Even a shaky bridge brings in some kind of uncertainty – it seems that upset children should step on it and it will just fall apart. The boy looks very moving. His hair is rattled by the wind, his naked legs dangling, and his arms firmly grasped the neck of his older sister.
Where did these bright kids come from? History, fortunately, has retained some information for us. Like many Wanderers, Makovsky traveled around the Russian provinces to make sketches and find new subjects. Working in one of the towns of the Tver province, the painter met a farm girl, brisk and courageous. Once again, when the master went out to the open air with an easel, he was surrounded by a handful of peasant children.
Specifically, the girl from the picture began to unceremoniously ask what all the same Makovsky was doing. After giving an explanation to the girl, the painter suggested drawing her. A posing session was scheduled for the next day, but, tomorrow, the young model did not appear. But her younger brother came running, who explained to Konstantin Yegorovich that the little sister was ill – in the evening they walked into the forest for mushrooms, and turning around, were caught in a thunderstorm. Running through the bridge, the sister slipped and got bogged down in the stream, and there she fell ill while getting out.
The painter decided to reproduce this whole story on canvas. Later, when the picture was exhibited and gained fame, Makovsky recalled the big-eyed peasant girl, and said – so that she would find out what this trip for mushrooms resulted in.
And it resulted in a delightful work, lively and touching. The painter professionally portrayed not only the guys, but also the background. The sky was painted out with the greatest realism – here there are grayish clouds, and blue gaps, and solar glare breaking through the darkness, which illuminate a strip of field. Grass almost does not sway, while the hair of babies say about a gusty wind. Makovsky possessed breathtaking observation to see so detailed pre-thunderstorm aspects, and filigree technique to delightfully convey this on the canvas.
A distinctive feature of Makovsky of this period is not a conviction, but a search for aesthetics. For the most part, farmers on his canvases are beautiful, and children are careful with a chubby blush. The painter’s paintings evoke mixed feelings of tenderness, sentimentality and sadness."