Description of the painting by Alexander Ivanov “Walking on the waters”

Description of the painting by Alexander Ivanov “Walking on the waters”

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The famous painting "Boating", the artist Ivanov painted in white in combination with watercolors on brown paper in 1850.

The brush master decided to illustrate an episode from the Bible (Matthew Gospel) in which the apostle Peter watches with great surprise how Jesus moves along the surface of the water. Staying in complete amazement, Peter begs his Master to have mercy on him and give him the opportunity to come closer.

Calm and peaceful Jesus tells the apostle to approach him. Peter obediently obeys, but he is suddenly frightened by a sudden wind. Under the weight of his body, Peter goes to the bottom, and Jesus helps him to get out and reproaches Peter for having little faith in him, because it was precisely such doubts that drew under the water.

Representing the plot of the picture, the artist very harmoniously combines the technique of performance. The figures depicted on the canvas are only light-air silhouettes. The color scheme of the canvas is very diverse, but there is no enumeration of tones. The robe of Jesus that develops in the wind, as well as the rising waves visually give the picture a barely noticeable movement, enliven it. There is another special detail on the canvas: the unpainted episode on the left forms the outlines of the boat that tilted.

A huge influence on the apperception of the one depicted on the canvas is exerted by the play of light, which gives the fragment brightness, radiance and even some kind of mysticism. Such small tricks of the artist’s performance manner enable the viewer to experience unforgettable emotions from contemplating such magnificence. This masterpiece of art pacifies a person, makes him spiritually richer. When working on a painting, the artist used not only the color scheme, the play of light, he invested in it a piece of his soul.

This painting has an amazing property: it fills the contemplator of the wonderful “biblical sketch” with inner light.

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