HISTORY OF ONE PICTURE
A bright representative of the “Moscow school of painting”, since 1895 a member of the Association of Traveling Art Exhibitions (TPCM), A.M. Korin equally fully expressed himself in different genres: in a household picture, portrait, landscape, he enthusiastically worked on book illustration, participated in the restoration of churches and temples throughout Russia and abroad. Thus, the preserved frescoes of his work in the temple-monument of the Holy Blessed Prince Alexander Nevsky in the capital of Bulgaria, Sofia, represent a unique example of Russian monumental painting of the late XIX – early XX century. Being one of the best draftsmen of his time, for almost a quarter of a century he led the MUZHVZ “head class”, having educated more than one generation of artists, including MS. Saryan, A.A. Plastov, P.V. Kuznetsov, A.M. Gerasimov, V.V. Meshkov, A.V. Moravov, B.V. Johanson, PI Kelin, Ya.D. Minchenkov and many others. As a representative of the Moscow Archaeological Society A.M. Korin was a member of the Special and Executive Commission for the repair and restoration of the Great Moscow Assumption and Annunciation Cathedrals of the Moscow Kremlin.
One of the most significant events in the life of A.M. Corina became an acquisition in 1892 by P.M. Tretyakov paintings “Sick artist”, which received high praise from critics and the public. For more than 120 years, it is in the main exhibition of the State Tretyakov Gallery.
On the canvas – the workshop of the painter. In the center of the easel in front of the canvas, surrounded by sketches, sketches and art objects, sits the artist. He stares intently at his picture. His tired face expresses perplexity and despair. He understands that the painting that was started may never be painted.
Everything speaks of a serious illness. His thin, weakening body is supported by a pillow planted under his back. The right hand with thin long fingers hangs helplessly, the left – squeezes a scarf, without which it is already impossible to do. Now he is alone with his work, which is the meaning of his life. What next? A serious illness prevents him from doing more art …
In another room behind the curtain is a woman sitting at the table. This would seem to be a secondary image, but in the dramatic art of the work it plays a significant role, because it embodies all the pain and suffering that close people feel from despair and despair, the realization of their powerlessness when it is impossible to help a loved one. The author intentionally demarcates the world inside the workshop – the master’s special world and the outside world, fencing it off with a curtain on the left side and a curtain on the right.
This is the plot description of the picture. The author managed through a realistic plastic to create an integral artistic image, having noticed the smallest details of the behavior of a person cracked by a severe illness, a special mood, an atmosphere of intense silence that precedes the moment of his insight. The author’s intention is revealed with the help of various methods – compositional, artistic, technical.
In the picture every detail is thought out, every object has its place, plays a certain semantic role. Color plays an important role in the composition of the picture: it not only gives it expressiveness, the author places in color additional accents that contribute to the disclosure of the main idea. The picturesque space is built in such a way that artistic images lead the viewer to certain associations and parallels. So, in the picture there are several compositional centers. The main image – a sick artist – the author identifies both with the location and with the help of color solutions. Facial expression, posture are subject to the mental state of the hero. The drama of the plot is conveyed through the image of the right hand, located almost in the center of the picture, – this composite detail carries a great semantic load. The hero’s hand on the edge of the table is bent in the wrist almost at a right angle, the brush hangs lifelessly, accenting the vertical axis of the picture. Thus, the author once again underlines how hopeless the position of the artist is, because it is the right hand that is the main working tool, its tool of life, and here it is devoid of any creative and physical energy.
The second compositional center of the painting is a plaster mask and a foot, as if fixed on the same vertical axis. The figure of the artist in relation to these objects looks even more unstable, seeking to make a movement. Such compositional constructions achieve emotional, semantic and psychological saturation of the image being transmitted. But the author is not limited to the description of the life drama of his hero. He cares what the artist thinks about in moments of insight, when he comes face to face with the inevitable, when the end of life’s journey comes: who is the artist, what is his role, what is the meaning of his work, his purpose? The viewer is invited, along with the main character of the painting, to reflect on the enduring values that form the basis of mortal life and eternal life. The author solves this difficult task with the help of the universal symbol language.