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Painting by Petrov-Vodkin After the battle, written in 1923, became an important milestone in the artist's painting, marking a new stage in his creative quest. Up to this point, all the paintings of the artist did not have a specific time reference and were not specific. The characters of his paintings could be placed at any length of time - and everywhere they would have looked authentic.
After the battle - this is a picture that has a clear, specific reference to the era depicted. It was not enough for the artist to depict three sad Red Army soldiers recalling a deceased comrade. To enhance the impact of his work, in the background he depicts an episode of battle, mentally confronting the gaze of heroes. The soldiers see their comrade precisely at the time of death - and this vision obscures the battle itself. The moment of death is as if captured on the inside of the eyelids of each of those sitting at the table - there is no doubt that they will remember what happened for a long time. The recollection that served as a pretext for gathering all the participants at the table is depicted in cool blue tones, which further emphasizes the eerie essence of what is happening.
The grieving Red Army soldiers in the foreground of the picture, on the contrary, are painted with warm colors, soft strokes, making a striking contrast with a transparent dark blue background. On the faces of the heroes there is no hatred and thirst for revenge - rather, warm sadness for an ally who died so early. Sad, inspired images of warriors serve as a reminder of the mortality of all living things. The empty bowler on the table underlines the chilling void on the border of life and death, which, no doubt, the soldiers felt. Each of them understands that tomorrow he can become on this border - but the determination and firmness, read in his views, speaks of the desire to fight to the end, to victory.
Portrait of Infanta Margarita