1918 in Petrograd (Petrograd Madonna), Petrov-Vodkin – description

Description of the picture:

1918 in Petrograd – Kuzma Sergeevich Petrov-Vodkin. 1920. Oil on canvas. 70 three x 92

   The painting is also known under the sonorous title. “Petrograd Madonna” and is one of the most recognizable and important in the work of Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin. The painting-era, a historical sign telling us about the moods and events of a revolutionary town, strikes with its own reality and simplicity.

   In the center of the work is an ordinary lady in a white scarf, pressed to the baby’s chest. Her face is like an icon-painted face, and alertness and humility are read in her eyes. The kid in his arms is obviously the same age as the crucial events of 1917. How many such mothers and babies? But, despite the apparent simplicity, the figures of the characters are read by the viewer as symbolic and symbolic.

   The heroine is perceived as the mother of all children, a tacit eyewitness of terrible events that threw a huge amount of fate under the moloch of history, giving rise to horrors, poverty and destitution. The indescribable power of the painter’s work! Some critics personify this lady with Russia of that period, and there are those who believe that the image is a harbinger of the more famous idiom “Motherland”, which will be lobbied much later.

   The background of the picture is also very talking. An attentive viewer will see here leaflets flaunting on the walls – witnesses of those events recalled how they were greeted at every turn by the walls pasted with appeals and revolutionary manifestos. Well, the crowds look very confused and thoughtful. Gathering in groups, people discussed among themselves pressing issues (for example, where to get bread), shared news and rumors.

   The streets of the town look very wide and from this even more deserted, and the houses are serious and gloomy. Somewhere you can see broken glasses talking about the rebellion of the crowd. Most likely, people with all the power of their own righteous anger destroyed the administrative structures of the interim government.

   In general, the architecture of the town in the picture looks great and refers to the painting of the Renaissance. This interpretation is true and not accidental. So, Vladislav Khodasevich, a poet and eminent Pushkinist, an eyewitness to the revolutionary events, said that Petrograd “was surprisingly prettier in its misfortune.” Petrov-Vodkin also felt this.

   The painting “1918 in Petrograd” is a merciless statement of facts. But against the backdrop of devastation and a certain ringing scattered silence, the image of a mother and a baby, as a source of an inexhaustible life, portends that the future exists, albeit not so bright. The heroes of the picture are a sign of hope, desperate and meek."