Painting Night by Arkhip Kuindzhi – a lyrical testament of the master of philosophical landscape
“Night” is a famous painting by Arkhip Ivanovich Kuindzhi, painted at the end of the master’s creative activity. Before the viewer is an endless sky, spacious valleys and a wide river. In the center of the composition are horses grazing on the top of a hill. A narrow but very bright moon illuminates from the darkness the shapeless figures of teenagers sleeping on the dark ground. The night is quiet and calm. The work is filled with absolute harmony and peace.
Arkhip Kuindzhi. Painting Night, 1905-1908.
Title of the painting: “Night”.
Author: Arkhip Ivanovich Kuindzhi (1842-1910).
Year of writing: 1905-1908
Size: 107 x 169 cm.
Technique: Oil painting.
Location: State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg.
Arkhip Ivanovich Kuindzhi is one of the most famous Russian artists of the 19th-20th centuries.
The master of landscape painting created real masterpieces, boldly experimenting with form and color. At the same time, he did not go beyond romanticism and realism. The painting “Night” is considered to be the author’s farewell work – he painted it in the last years of his life, after he voluntarily retired from the cycle of the exhibition and social “scene” and locked himself in the studio.
Kuindzhi’s final work is poetic and meaningful, despite the fact that it is called unfinished. The author’s style is recognizable – it is correctly maintained proportions, a masterful play with light and shadow, an open and freely breathing space of the pre-dawn sky. The palette is calm and balanced, with smooth transitions from one tonality to another. As in all his masterpieces, the artist paid most attention to the description of nature, only briefly, with light light spots, remembering man. The horse figures are carefully drawn, but some simplicity and incompleteness are striking.
Some art critics examined in “Night” the artist’s attempt to touch upon a new direction for him – symbolism. Kuindzhi seems to be sending a farewell message to his contemporaries and future generations, openly talking about his inexhaustible love for nature. And he admits that no matter how long the path of life, at the end of his days a person remains full of ideas and strength to realize them. The painting “Night” by Arkhip Ivanovich Kuindzhi is deservedly considered one of the best works of the painter. Nowadays, a bright pearl of the landscape genre is kept in the collection of the Russian Museum.