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The idea of this picture dates back to 1872, when the Russian artist decided to create a cycle of paintings, united by a common theme - the image of the harsh northern nature.
The first two pictures of the cycle - “Ladoga Lake” and “On the Island of Valaam” - were created by Kuindzhi, who were impressed by the trip to the harsh lands.
Against the backdrop of these masterpieces, Sever, written six years later, looks like some kind of final accent, without which the cycle was perceived as incomplete. Apparently, Kuindzhi was aware of this and therefore for his last canvas he chose a name that does not contain a geographical reference. The picture is an image of an endless plain that goes into the distance, which the artist offers to view from a bird's eye view.
In the foreground we see several lonely pines - a well-known motive that evokes Lermontov’s poems familiar from school. In the distance they flicker - they flicker, another verb cannot be picked up - endless forests that either appear or disappear again in the mist. They can create a feeling of some secret that is not so easily revealed to the questioning audience. The lion's share of the canvas is occupied by the image of a grayish sky, thereby Kuindzhi pays tribute to the eternal theme - the confrontation of two elements.
The artist poetizes the northern nature, demonstrating his own attitude towards it: the canvas is imbued with love for the harsh edges. At the same time, this feeling is mixed with a feeling of greatness, the inability of nature to man.
Like previous paintings, "North" is stored in the Tretyakov Gallery. It is no coincidence that it is sometimes called the final painting of the artist, because after its creation, as you know, Kuindzhi moved away from the description of northern nature. For a long time the south of Russia will capture him, but this is a completely different story.
Vasnetsov Victor Alenushka