Alexander Ivanov was an amazingly versatile artist. It so happened that he is known to a wide circle of people, first of all, for his masterpieces on biblical themes. But Ivanov’s work was not limited only to this. He was able to paint pictures of nature very subtly and sincerely.
One of these canvases is called “Branch”. At first glance, there is nothing special about it. Everything is very simple, artless. You probably need to be a real artist in order to see something worthy of being captured in this routine.
A tree branch is brought to the fore. It is as if by chance she “looks” into the picture, leaving her trunk behind the frame. By the thickness of the branch, one can assume that this is a very young, graceful tree. The branch diagonal is directed from top to bottom. As a result, a branch with leaves takes center stage on the canvas. The leaves are brightly, clearly, in detail drawn on the branch. For more realism, the artist uses different shades of green. The main cold green tone is diluted with yellow and dark green shades.
The background of the picture is only indicated, but not drawn clearly enough. This is a kind of decoration, a general background. It does not distract the viewer’s attention from contemplating the tree branch, the main object of the composition. For the background, shades of blue and lilac are used. This gives the picture freshness and mystery. It seems that everything is lost in the fog, in the mysterious morning haze.
The background of the painting is divided into two parts by the horizon line. But this division is not strictly horizontal. The picture shows perspective, space and striving into the distance. In the pale yellow reflections of the sky, the presence of the sun is guessed. Very soon it will rise and everything around will be painted in bright, juicy, summer colors. In the meantime, nothing disturbs the transparent coolness of the early morning.
Year of painting: late 1840s.
The size of the painting: 46.5 x 62.4 cm.
Material: paper on canvas.
Writing technique: oil.
Gallery: State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia.