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Rural Russia is one of the favorite topics in Serov’s work. Who, if not Serov, could accurately reproduce the everyday life of peasant life, show the working days of peasants. The artist did not gravitate to reproduce the underlined wretchedness of the village or the embellished nature: he looked at the village from the point of view of a realist. But the village paintings of Serov are endowed with notes of tenderness and cordiality, such as, for example, “Woman with a Horse” of 1889.
In the center of the picture is a young Russian girl with cheeks red with frost and a perky smile. She holds on to the bridle of her horse, which has visibly grown, and her mane falls into her eyes.
Serov painted in real frost. In such weather it is impossible to work with oil paints - Serov decided to put off the paints and take up the pastel. As the artist told, he wanted to reflect in the picture a joyful sensation of Russian frost, which brightens his cheeks and makes the horse snuggle up to his mistress.
Serov did not paint the picture alone: at the beginning of his work, peasants surrounded him. Only a few strokes were enough for the peasants to start shouting the names of what they saw on the pastels: nose, lips, scarf. Residents of the village to the very end watched the work of the artist and were amazed at how Serov owns the skill of drawing. It seemed enough to take a pencil to also realistic depict the environment. Serov repeatedly admitted that it was not critics who made him proud of his work, but peasants and their approval.
Several decades have passed, and Serov's “Woman with a Horse” to this day reflects the veracity of village life in the frosty Russian winter.
Painting by Princess Tarakanova Description