Painting Volga in the vicinity of Yuryevets by Alexei Savrasov – lyrics of the impending storm
The Volga in the vicinity of Yuryevets is a painting painted by Alexei Kondratyevich Savrasov in 1870, which caused a furor among art connoisseurs. The canvas depicts the great Russian Volga river stretching to the horizon with two barges swaying on the shaky water. On the right, on the hill, one can see the buildings of Yuryevets – a small town near Yaroslavl. In the foreground, a group of barge haulers emerging from the water pulls an overwhelming burden on a string. The sad plot of the work is aggravated by the dull atmosphere of a rainy day, creates a bleak mood and calls for reflections on the hard lot of forced people.
About the autor
Alexey Kondratyevich Savrasov is one of the most interesting and significant Russian artists of the second half of the 19th century, who managed to bring lyrics and boundless love for his native land to painting. In his paintings dedicated to the Volga, the master does not seek to convey something extraordinarily beautiful.
His works reflect the harmony of nature in any, sometimes the most insignificant of its manifestations. And natural intonations only emphasize the calm simplicity, discreet charm and lyrical sadness inherent in the master’s works. The painting “Volga in the vicinity of Yuryevets” marked the beginning of the famous series of Volga landscapes and reflected the period of the artist’s creative upsurge.
Loaded barges on canvas take the central place and become a genre element of the composition. The high bank and the panorama of the open horizon line create the effect of the infinity of space, show the breadth. And power of the great river. The richness of shades and sunlight shining through the clouds in the background give the impression of a moving, living nature.
Barge haulers occupy a special place in the picture “The Volga in the vicinity of Yuryevets”. Became a symbol of social injustice, they were often depicted by other artists, in particular. Ilya Efimovich Repin and Vasily Vasilievich Vereshchagin.
But in the work of Savrasov they acquired a deeper meaning. Slowly moving along the river, exhausted by hard labor and devoid of individuality. Forced laborers are an integral part of the landscape, revealing the essence of the everyday life of the provincial Russian people.
Moving away from academic conventions in painting, Savrasov created one of the best works of national art. His painting “The Volga in the Environs of Yuryevets” makes you stop. Gaze at such a familiar landscape. Plunge into the author’s leisurely story about the endless expanses of Russia.