The abduction of Europe - Valentin Aleksandrovich Serov. 71x98
Powerfully cutting through the thick sea, the bull carries away the beautiful Europe. The waves, like a royal ermine mantle, envelop a strong body of a bull. Calm, even indifferent Europe.
The work is devoid of secondary details. Schematicity of images is a tribute to the modernist tradition. Most carefully, the master creates the image of a bull, giving it some human features. Before us is the reincarnation of the Olympic god, who fell in love with the beautiful daughter of the Phoenician king.
The combination of brown, blue and black tones is a classic set of ancient Cretan frescoes. At the same time, the work is completely devoid of antique static and harmony of forms. Before us is a plot filled with energy, temperament.
Far from antique designs and the appearance of Europe. Before the viewer is not a marble frozen beauty, but an ordinary young girl, dark-skinned, of ordinary physique, far from ancient harmony.
The symbolic meaning of the plot takes on a special, modern sound in the eyes of the artist. Europe has departed from long-standing worship of antique patterns. How will the swimming end? Which coast will the bull pester? Questions remain open.
The space of the picture is subject to a special rhythm. Dolphins add dynamics to the composition, emphasizing the power and strength of the bull. The work horizon is open. Lazy glare on the waves, a distorted, only a designated reflection of the heroes in the water surface, creates a feeling of the power of the elements, its indomitability.
Europe feels confident on the bull, she completely trusted him. A garland, the remains of which are caught in a horn, no longer looks like an ornament. Heroes look back at the viewer, as if inviting him after themselves into the unknown.
The work was one of the last in the life of the author. This is a kind of comprehension of the entire creative path, difficult thoughts about the modern world, about its path to the future. The appeal to the antique plot is not accidental. The embodiment of the classic plot with new artistic means, this is a creative testament of the master, an attempt to leave a message to the world.
This work is considered one of the most successful, recognizable works of the author, an example of modernism painting. To date, about ten different versions of this work are known. The author stubbornly searched for the optimal color scheme, experimented with space, improved images. Each version is distinguished by its artistic sound, atmosphere and color.