The Rooks Have Arrived – landscape and portrait of the Russian soul.
“The Rooks Have Arrived” is a painting by one of the founders of the pilgrimage, Alexei Kondratyevich Savrasov. It depicts rooks arriving after winter. They diligently build their nests, as if not noticing the still lying snow around. The birds know for sure – spring has already come. Hope turns into confidence – a new life is possible! The gaze from the chaos of wet snow with the help of the contrast of black wings goes to the sky.
The temple in the background with peeling plaster also rushes upward with its sharp forms. The church from Molvitino (now – Susanino) subtly reminds of the resurrection of Christ. This is the essence of the Russian soul – from scarcity and unattractiveness to soar with thoughts to the higher spheres. But not only birds, temple and birches are objects of the captured. The landscape depicts the invisible soul of a person in an unthinkable way. No one else has been able to achieve this effect.
About the artist
Alexey Kondratyevich Savrasov lived and worked in the 19th century and specialized in landscape painting. The artist’s early paintings were impersonal and idealized. A note of European gloss was found even in natural depictions of Russian nature. But the death of a newborn daughter turned Savrasov’s understanding of eternal questions.
Only after the tragedy did he manage to see and portray the transition from winter to spring in a new way – as a symbol of the rebirth of the soul against the background of an ugly reality. To live on, you need to accept your grief. So take a look at this unadorned spring slush. You see her every year and maybe grumble about the dirt on your shoes. But it is this moisture that becomes the life-giving basis for the uprising of nature from frosty death.
The rooks returned after winter and with their emphasized blackness confirm: cold and misfortune will not win. Imbued with the hope of change, the painting became the beginning of a realistic Russian landscape. Painters have ceased to be ashamed of killed roads and trees not combed to the ideal.
The Itinerant movement arose, which moved the Russian art of that time from a dead center. The Tretyakov Gallery became the permanent habitat of the canvas, and numerous copyright replicas scattered like rooks around the world.