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1922; paper on cardboard, pencil, charcoal, watercolor; 64 × 108; Museum of the history and reconstruction of the city of Moscow.
Apollinariy Mikhailovich Vasnetsov is the younger brother of the painter Viktor Mikhailovich Vasnetsov, whose famous illustrations to the works of Russian folklore are familiar to everyone. Unlike Victor, Apollinaria did not immediately come to make art his main occupation in life. In his youth, he refused to enter the Academy of Arts and for some time worked as a rural teacher.
However, the desire for creativity burned in him. Apollinaris Vasnetsov is known for his landscapes of Central Russian nature, as well as for his sketches and paintings depicting ancient Moscow. Passionately loving this city, Vasnetsov headed the commission for studying the history of the Russian capital for several years, dreamed of returning to its former brilliant appearance.
The heyday of the Kremlin is part of a series of works that have successively illustrated the life of stone chambers, from the first laying of walls to the moment of brilliant completion in the 17th century. The plot of the picture is simple, it is an ordinary everyday scene. In the foreground are groups of people doing their own thing. But they are not at all heroes of the study. The majestic massif of the Kremlin rises above their heads. Walls, towers, domes, chambers occupy almost the whole picture. Against the background of a bright sky covered with clouds, the Kremlin seems especially airy, as if it shines with the reflected light of the sun.
This magnificence is breathtaking. The everyday simplicity of the scene is forgotten when the gaze, fascinated by details, executed with incredible skill and love, begins to absorb all parts of a single harmonious whole.
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