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When this painting was painted, Ilya Repin was at the peak of creativity, he created one masterpiece after another, had a fee, he had a wonderful family, with whom he moved to the capital, here he teamed up with the most prominent Russian artists who met him and his work quite generously, exhibited with a cycle of masterfully painted portraits, sold his works for good money at that time, made new friends in Moscow.
Of course, all these circumstances could not but affect the mood of the artist, and he created such an unusual work for himself as “Apples and Leaves”.
Why unusual? Because Ilya Efimovich is a virtuoso of historical and mythological themes, portraiture, psychological paintings that are imbued with feelings and emotions. Still life was not peculiar to this artist.
But, as you know, a talented person is talented in everything. And therefore, the image of ordinary apples lying on the drying leaves of various plants, he managed inimitably. Small and large leaves, holistic and patterned edges, single, paired and triple, are all made in green, and this is a wonderful background for ripe apples. In general, speaking about the background, Repin’s everything is perfect here: the dark backdrop turns into a brownish surface, on which both leaves and apples look brilliant.
The latter are really alive, it seems that you can take them and enjoy the taste or inhale the aroma of the apple orchard. This freshest aroma is heard in a harmonious combination of leaves and opaque fruits of an apple tree. Volume, brilliance, shape, color, dents, spots - all this makes apples - as already mentioned - alive.
So, it would seem, a simple, straightforward still life in the hands of the master acquires brightness and expressiveness, and the picture becomes a real work of art!
Aivazovsky Ninth Shaft Description