Winter landscape (Russian winter) - Nikifor Stepanovich Krylov. 54x63.5
Krylov, the first time student of A. Venetsianov, met Krylov in the Terebensky Monastery in the Tver Province, where he, as an apprentice, painted the iconostasis with the Kalyazin icon painters artel. On the advice of Venetsianov, Krylov began to paint from life and paint portraits. In 1825, he came to St. Petersburg, settled with Venetsianov as his student and at the same time began to attend drawing classes at the Academy of Arts.
Pictures of Nikifor Krylov very little is known, “Russian Winter” - the most significant of them. The documents of the Society for the Encouragement of Artists, which Krylov enjoyed the patronage of, preserved information about the history of this landscape. When the young artist had the intention to perform a winter look from nature, there were patrons who were ready to help him in this. According to Krylov’s choice of a place near Tosna, he built a whole workshop there, “giving the artist and maintenance throughout his studies”. Within a month, the painting was completed, and after its appearance at the exhibition of the Academy of Arts in 1827 made a strong impression on the audience.
Working on the landscape, Krylov remained faithful to the principle inspired by Venetsianov, "to depict nothing other than in nature is to obey it alone." The artist painted the landscape from a high bank, and this allowed him to present a wide panorama of the area. From the slope, the road descends into the floodplain of the Tosny River with banks covered with shrubs, in the distance a dark strip of dense coniferous forest is visible. The painter subtly felt the state of nature on a winter day. Bluish shadows lie in the snow, the sky is covered with clouds, objects are clearly looming in the lobby of the snow. The landscape is enlivened by the figures of people engaged in everyday activities: here are two women who met on the way to the ice hole, where they rinse their clothes, and a stately peasant woman with wooden buckets on the yoke, and a young peasant leading a horse under the bridle. Krylov’s vigilance of field observation is combined with a poetic general mood that animates the landscape.