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|Kuzma Sergeevich Petrov-Vodkin:Kuzma, Petrov-Vodkin, Tretyakov, Tretiakov, Renaissance, Bathing, Symbolist
Kuzma Sergeevich Petrov-Vodkin (1878-1939) studied under Serov at the Moscow Institute of Painting and Sculpture, as well as in Munich and Paris, and was initially influenced by Symbolist painters. His later interests embraced Renaissance art and medieval Russian icons.
Major works by Petrov-Vodkin are: Playing Boys (1911), Bathing the Red Horse (1912), Mother (1913), The Virgin Touching Evil Hearts (1915), Noon (1917), Morning (1917), and 1918 in Petrograd (1920)
The above painting is titled "Bathing the Red Horse" from 1912 (oil on canvas. 160 x 186 cm; Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow).
This was a major work by the master. Having studied medieval icons, Petrov-Vodkin arrived at a constant coloration. This work is remarkable as a praise of color, a hymn to painting.
The composition of the picture with its space fully unfolded before the spectator also owes much to icon painting. The very imagery points to the subjects of icon painting, for the figure of a youth on horseback is associated with the image of St. George. But while icons represented a valiant warrior conquering evil, here we see a slender boy sitting unsteadily on the back of a mighty horse which seems to embody a supernatural force.
The painting is a symbol of its age, full of anxious presentiments and unsolved questions.