Mikhail Klodt wrote “On arable land” in 1872, which became a key work in the work of the landscape painter.
The painting shows endless open fields during plowing. The plain, which only in the distance passes into the forest and small hills, causes delight, and the realism of the picture is simply on the verge of photography.
The largest element of the picture is a peasant woman plowing the land with the help of a horse harnessed to a plow. She has suspended her work and is looking towards the road. Her attention was drawn to the approaching crew, riding on two horses. On the other side of the picture, a little further towards the girl than the crew, another peasant and a peasant with horses plow the land. Both the chaise and the peasants engaged in plowing are so well inscribed in the composition of the picture that it is difficult for us to imagine it without them.
The high sky, which occupies more than half of the landscape, gives expressiveness to the picture. Huge light clouds, the difference in shades of the sky between the different halves of the picture, as well as the barely noticeable birds flying against its background, add even more grandeur to this work.
It is worth noting how Klodt is anxious about the details of the picture. On it we will see a lot of crows sitting on the arable land, and detailed elements of even the smallest sizes, and a gentleman sitting in a stroller.
The picture “On arable land” is called a pearl, one of the best examples of the Russian landscape and the best picture of Savrasov. Seeing her at one of the traveling exhibitions, Tretyakov spoke positively of her in a letter to Kramsky. And for more than a hundred years, it has been stored in the Tretyakov Gallery, and copies of this picture have always diverged in huge print runs in a very different form. Klodt himself three times created reproductions of his paintings for Russian museums. People in this work were attracted and attracted not only by the grandeur and epic of the landscape, but also by their proximity to the people, the Russian land. After all, Mikhail Konstantinovich always saw in them the basis of all Russian life.
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