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Polenov was famous among other artists for the fact that in his landscapes he was better than others able to convey this or that mood. An example of such a picture is his work “Grandma’s Garden”, combining the landscape with the genre scene. The canvas depicts a noble nest of the 19th century. Most of the canvas was occupied by the image of a wild dense garden. In the background is an old neglected mansion.
Although the house itself is wooden, it is decorated with a portico, columns, pediment and stucco molding. It was a typical trick in the noble architecture of that time: houses were built of wood, and plaster was applied over it for representativeness, creating the appearance of masonry. But the old plaster on the house was already noticeably peeling off, revealing to our eyes the old logs, the cornice rusted, the stucco molding, columns and steps also lost their former splendor. But once upon a time, children’s legs ran along these steps and the floors of the dresses of young beauties rushing to the balls rustled.
In the foreground of the picture we see an old woman - the owner of the mansion, and her granddaughter. They slowly walk along a sunlit sandy path along an abandoned overgrown garden - a silent witness to the young years of their mistress. Grandmother is dressed in an old-fashioned salop of dark brown color and a white cap, and the girl has a beautiful soft pink dress - such as was in the then fashion. The clothes and pose of women serve as a kind of contrast between the old and the new, which, in fact, is the main motive of the picture. The elderly lady seems as decrepit as her home. The relentless run of time spares no one. Before our eyes, an entire era and its culture are going into oblivion.
However, such thoughts arising from looking at the picture do not give rise to feelings of sadness. Rather, the mood that creates this creation Polenov, can be described as nostalgia or light sadness. The old is obsolete, but the new is replacing it and this inspires hope in the heart.
The palette of colors used by the artist is very diverse. This is the lush greenery of the garden, and the path of bright yellowness, and the colors of the clothes of the heroines of the picture contrasting with each other. But all this gamut of colors coexists on canvas quite harmoniously.
Pictures of Ilya Glazunov