2021-06-22

Fedotov – “Anchor, another anchor!”

In the painting “Anchor, another anchor!” the time boundaries are dissolved by the motive of the action – jumping back and forth, like a pendulum, of a rushing dog. They count down empty, flowing time. Time passes and stands at the same time, since it does not promise any change in reality. Its movement is illusory. This situation is formulated in the title of the picture, where the Russian “still” is framed by the French “anchor”, meaning the same “still”. Exotic phraseological unit, absurdity obscures, like a smokescreen, empty, monotonous repetitive, rotating in place, dejectedly prosaic “more, more, more” – the prodding of the dweller of the hut, distraught with boredom, forcing the poor poodle to endlessly jump over the outstretched shank.

A pictorial show on canvas is built on the same principle. At first glance, something indistinct appears – a swaying smoky-stuffy haze – from it the elementary-simplest is gradually reconstructed: a candle, a table, a trestle bed, a guitar leaning against the wall, a lying figure, the shadow of a poodle and some ghostly creature in the doorway in the depths to the left. People and things are transformed by the artist into pictorial phantoms, as they are perceived in the shaky interval between sleep and reality, where the apparent and the real are indistinguishable from each other. This two-faced, tricky unity of the ghostly and the real is one of the incarnations of the well-known metaphor “life is a dream”.

Year of painting: 1852.

Dimensions of the painting: 34.5 x 46.4 cm.

Material: canvas.

Writing technique: oil.

Genre: genre painting.

Style: realism.

Gallery: State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia.

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