Description of the picture:
Early snow – Vasily Dmitrievich Polenov. 1891. Oil on canvas. 40 eight x eighty 5 cm
An excellent Russian landscape depicts the banks of the Oka River from the side of the village of Bekhovo, next to which was the estate of the master, later named Polenovo. In that year, snow fell very early, back in September, because the landscape turned out to be very beautiful, the painter could not resist such a temptation.
The trees in the picture are still in autumn, the leaves have not yet fallen, because it is early autumn, winter just hurried to come to these parts. The landscape is striking in its spaciousness and desertedness, the picture seems to be filled with the freshest frosty air. Its spectrum is built on the contrast of the warm colors of autumn foliage and the spotless cool colors of snow, the freezing water in the river and the sky hanging over languid snow clouds.
The canvas depicts the deepest panorama of the river bank with steep banks, partly overgrown with forest. A black blue sky with low clouds hung over the river, which was about to open and fill the surrounding area with the latest “portion” of snow. Frost is almost felt in the air, although warm autumn colors of foliage smooth out this memory a little. In this picture, the highest skill of the artist is clearly visible – apart from the magically reproduced deepest place, the narrow elaboration of details, almost every leaf on the trees, amazes.
The forest froze, numb from the unexpected cold, all life in it seemed to suddenly brake. The river seems motionless. The canvas depicts a pause in life caused by a sharp and unusual configuration of nature. The painter professionally fished out this feeling of unexpected shock, which all living things experienced due to the sudden and very early snowfall. Maybe the next day it will get warmer and the snow will melt rapidly, but at the moment nature seemed to be thinking about what to do next.
The picture has a fascinating story. The artist created as many as eight of her copyright copies, which are currently in various museums, and one even ended up in France, at the Comedy Frances Theater."