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Abramtsevo is a wonderful place for artists and writers. Since the 1870s, many famous painters have been staying there, including Vasnetsov, Repin, Serov, Korovin. Polenov has also been there. Manor Abramtsevo was not a place for balls and meetings of noble people. This place was intended for creativity. It preserved the beauty and originality of rural nature, was far from the bustle of the city. Maybe that’s why it was so easy for famous artists to do here.
The Polenov painting shows a boat ride. In the summer heat it was pleasant to be among the surface of the pond under the shadow of tall trees. The place looks picturesque. Water lilies strewn the surface of the pond, the banks are buried in greenery and thickets of reeds. In the background, a large, dried tree hangs over the water.
At two ends of the boat are two girls and a boy rowing with oars. The faces of the girls are not visible: one sits with his back to the viewer, and the other bowed her head and reads a book, part of her face hid the fields of the hat. The clothes show that these are not ordinary peasant women, but young ladies. The boy is also not rustic. He is dressed in the uniform of a sailor. Torn water lilies hung on board the boat.
Bright light falls on the boat and the people in it. It comes from somewhere above, through the crowns of tall trees. Around the perimeter, the picture is darkened. The boat becomes the compositional center of the canvas.
The water in the pond is green and calm. There is not a hint of the wind. Only light movements of oars violate the mirror surface of the pond. The same mood and those sitting in the boat: calm, peaceful. Here is a great place for thoughts and thoughts, for unity with nature.
If you mentally move to the pond, you can imagine what sounds surrounded the characters in the picture. Surely you could hear the birds singing, splashes of water, the light noise of reeds and the croaking of frogs. All this thanks to the talent of Polenov, who managed to convey the beauty of the pond so realistically.