Artist – Petrov -Vodkin
At the beginning of the 20th century, the name of Petrov-Vodkin became widely known in art circles. The tendency to philosophical generalizations, unceasing searches in the field of form permeated the whole path of the artist. His works constantly attracted the attention of the audience and often caused the most conflicting assessments.
In the genre of still life, Petrov-Vodkin worked especially a lot in 1918–1920, when he created a number of masterpieces. Several of them – with a violin on which the artist himself played perfectly. By definition of the author, still lifes – "One of the sharp conversations of the painter with nature"; He likened them to violin sketches, which should precede the concert, that is, the picture. Simple objects, thanks to the uniquely peculiar vision of the artist, create a special world, poeticly transforming reality. To destroy the static of perception, the artist sought to build a spherical perspective, as if surveying an image from different sides.
The still life "Violin", written in 1918, is an example of what Vyacheslav Ivanov called "realistic symbolism".
Violin on the background of an urban landscape. The elegant form of the tool is opposed to the rigid geometry of window bindings; Warm wood – cold glass, small space of the room, the human shelter – the bulk of the stone buildings of the faceless city. The motive of the eternal conflict of spiritual and technical principles acquires a philosophical sound in this still life.
Preserving the usual smooth outlines, the objective certainty of form and color, the musical instrument has lost its natural life. Unusual, unstable its diagonal position in the picture plane. However, it is it that gives the violin the meaning of the image-symbol, the sign of music and culture. The whole composition is subordinated to the light inclination of the verticals, the smooth circle of spaces – the visible embodiment of the movement of the planet, the axis of which turns out to be a violin – an axis of spirituality unique and unique, outside of which a person loses the meaning of his being in this world.
According to their extremely high aesthetic qualities, Petrov-Vodkin still lifes the highest achievements of European painting in this genre.