Masters of Gorodets mural
Masters of Gorodets mural. Gorodets painting of the second half of the XIX – first third ХХ century should be regarded as a true classic of folk decorative art. Pleiad of wonderful masters – I.K. Lebedev, F.S. Krasnoyarov, I.A. Mazin, PD Kolesov, V.K. Smirnov and others – has created in the city district a unique center of folk art.
Since childhood, inheriting the artistic traditions of the Uzol Valley, each of the painters also sought to realize their own charge of creative energy. It is difficult for a modern person to believe the memories of old masters that they used to work 14 to 16 hours daily in the light of a kerosene lamp, creating works of such beauty, freshness and artistry that it would never occur to speak of some kind of forced labor. It really was a great job, but the work was enthusiastic, creative, full of desire to express its artistic essence.
Bright, talented artists created a picturesque craft. Sidor Konovalov did not look like the brothers A.V. and L.V. The Melnikovs. In a completely different way, I wrote flowers and herbs IA Mazin. The whole circle of subjects, unique heroes in their original picturesque manner was written by whole dynasties of masters – Lebedevs, Kryukovs, Sundukovs, Kolesovs. The second half of the XIX century in the Uzol Valley was marked by such a bright and diverse flowering of the town’s painting, which literally each of the masters deserves a detailed account of his work.
If for the masters of the earliest days S. Konovalov and the Melnikov brothers were characterized as a coloring of the previously applied drawing, then the second, later stage of the painting development was truly picturesque. A bright color spot acquired an independent significance, graphic elements began to be interpreted more freely, losing the character of a rigid contour. This second, picturesque stage is largely determined by the works of IA. Mazina and F.S. Krasnoyarova. I.A. Mazin, a pupil of S. Konovalov, was, undoubtedly, one of the most talented city masters. His methods of constructing the plot and ornamental compositions are extremely diverse. He can write an uncomplicated everyday scene, like the one called “Seryozha-shepherdok”, which depicts a rendezvous of a rural couple under a tree, and can also build a complex multi-figure composition, which the master himself titled “A gift to the daughter-in-law from the mother-in-law”.
It’s amazing how IA. Mazina, even in a very conditional manner of transferring individuals and figures, manages to delineate the characters and relationships of the characters. So, his town children – this is “the cripples written,” in the picture drawn, and at the same time – real residents of the urban district. This type, and today we can guess on the streets of Gorodets – dense stocky figures, rounded faces with slightly upturned noses, with cheeks and curls on temples. The works of Mazin can always be distinguished by a special fortress and the roundness of the forms, according to the leisurely rhythm of the white cuts.
No less vivid and original artist was a contemporary of IA. Mazina, a master from the village of Koskovo, FS. Krasnoyarov.
His flower compositions were distinguished by unusual roses, daisies and bathing suits. Colorful scale was most often based on a combination of a golden background with red and blue flowers.
The lively and diverse world of the Russian village was recreated by Kraspyarov in his favorite compositions, called “tea-drinking with household”. Krasnoyarovsky sketches are always a violent movement. Even in this static plot, he finds the opportunity to express the incessant storm of life. Around the owners of the house sitting at the table, dogs run around, a chicken with chickens is hurrying around, a cow’s head appears from behind the high back of the hostess’s chair. The huge shoots of fantastic flowers seem to grow right before our eyes. The dynamics is not only in the construction of the plot, but also in the very manner of writing Kraspyarov. His liqueurs are completely different from those made by other masters. He applied them with a thicker brush, so they protuberant smears on the surface of the paint layer.
Fedor Semenovich Krpnosyarov – one of the largest masters of the urban fishery. There is a legend that the members of the Krasnoyarov family were the ancestors of the production of the Don, encrusted with moraine oak.
FS Paintings. Krasnoyarova unusually joyful in color, dynamic, full of bright
The creative temperament of Krasnoiarov was also matched by the subjects he selected. He most often portrayed racing troikas, riders, and military men. In his works are often images of soldiers and officers of the Balkan War, dressed in blue and red uniforms, which the master always wrote with great attention to the smallest details.
Another, but not the least, charm is the work of another coryphaeus of urban painting: I.K. Lebedev. He has a subtle artistry, his work can always be recognized by a special lyrical mood. Favorite scenes of the master were “gallant scenes” in the living rooms, where elegant ladies gathered in decollete dresses, rich gentlemen in fashionable frock-coats. Dontsa Lebedeva is sometimes called pearl for the softness of color and precious white dressings.
The social conditions of the beginning of the 20th century did not at all contribute to the development of centers of folk artistic culture. Dislodged by mass industrial products, the objects of ancient craft gradually withdrew from the life of peasants and urban residents. Wandless donkeys and weaving mills became useless, as the production of household fabrics was almost completely discontinued, painted paints and boxes were not needed. With all the creative talents of the masters and their desire to do what they liked, the city’s picturesque fishery disintegrated. Particularly devastating effect had on him the events of the First World War, the Civil War, post-war devastation. Many skilled masters did not return from the front, the youth, not seeing the prospects of fishing, left the villages of the Uzol Valley to the cities.
The market of urban products was undermined, long-standing traditional ties between producers and consumers of commercial products were violated. Even the favorite toy of the town, which was painted earlier, was not bought now either in Gorodets or in Nizhny Novgorod. It seemed that all the sources of the existence of the fishery were exhausted.
At the same time, the 1920s were marked by the growing interest of various sections of the Russian public towards folk art and the activities of a craftsman. There were many reasons for this: handicraftsmen should, according to the ideas of the new government, replenish with their products the commodity market that had been vacant as a result of the ruin of industry. Original products of crafts: unique Russian laces, carved and painted wood, embroidery – gave the opportunity to go out to foreign markets, promised foreign currency earnings to the impoverished treasury.
The ideological aspect of the task of reviving the crafts was also important: to promote the development of art in a new social environment, in a new city and a new village. Plans for the co-operation of handicraftsmen, the creation of artels were widely advertised from the highest tribunes, at various congresses and conferences, the ideas of trade cooperation were “introduced on the ground” in various regions of Russia. Representatives of the old Russian intelligentsia also joined the propaganda of folk art, they understood the need to preserve the age-old cultural heritage of the country.
However, it was necessary to go through many more years before there were real changes in the revival of the urban fishery.
Only in 1935 an attempt was made to unite the city masters of painting. In the Uzol villages – first in Koskov, and then in Kurnev, in the house of I.K. Lebedev, the first collective workshops were organized, in which the city masters F.S. Krasnoyarov, I.A. Mazin, I.K. Lebedev,
P.D. Wheels. Their vast experience, knowledge, diverse pictorial talents were absolutely necessary for the revival of the fishery. However, the ability of old masters to work only with traditional products was a significant obstacle in the development of a new range of decorative and utilitarian things.
To help the citizens of the city pass to the painting of new types of products, in the middle of the 1930s Gorodets from Sersheva Posada comes artist I.I. Oveshkov – a great connoisseur of folk art.
He made a lot of efforts to fix the special techniques of each master’s work. Since fishing in those years was experiencing great difficulties with the tree, Oveshkov invited the masters to perform some of the compositions on the paper glued with carpenter’s glue.
On this basis, the masters painted in traditional urban manner colors, diluted in carpentry glue. In a relatively short period of time, Oveshkov had a fairly large number of unique compositions by Gorodets masters of the older generation. Among these sheets were the most interesting “trips” and “tea drinking with the household” F.S. Krasnoyarova, original compositions on the themes of the old and new life of Gorodts IA Mazin, the work of PD. Kolesova, I.K. Lebedev and others. The fate of most of these sheets for a long time was unknown.
Representation of them could only be obtained from copies made in the mid-1940s by the artist T.A. Mavrina. In 1997, the original drawings were found in the funds of the Nizhny Novgorod State Historical and Architectural Museum-Reserve. Appreciating the originality of the creative manner of IA. Mazina, I.I. Oveshkov contributed to the fact that the Toy Museum in Sergiev Posad made him a special order for the production of Gorodets painted items. In Sergiev Posad, a significant collection of works by IA. Mazina, which includes many toys.
The flowering of creativity of Peter Ivanovich Sundukov falls on the 1930s. His paintings are distinguished by a special ornamental “carpet”. The artist is not afraid of the asymmetry of the compositions, densely fills the decorative space of the work with birds, flowers, human figures.
Toy ladies, cavaliers, nurses with babies, shop assistants, officers – they all seemed to have left the traditional Don, mochesnik, chairs and began to live in a real three-dimensional space. Gorodets toys are made flat on the front side and volumetric rear, which gives them stability and allows you to move. Mazinskaya small plastic – a kind of painted sculpture – seems to be one of the most successful experiences of using Gorodets painting in its new quality.
In the Kurtsev workshop of the 1930s, the masters also worked on turning painted dishes, small pieces of furniture (shelves, hangers). However, many artists wanted to paint large planes, build multi-figure compositions. After all, it was to this that their previous years of work had accustomed them. But the Donets finally became a thing of the past, it was necessary to look for a new application for their skills. Thus a rather significant and diverse series of painted panels appeared. They were written by almost all famous city masters, choosing a variety of topics. There were field works, rural weddings, “border guards-excellent workers”, and views of the old Goretskaya street. These works are entertaining, bright in color, sometimes very decorative but the whole structure of the composition. The authors try very hard to be modern, introducing details of a new way of life, portraying modern people. I.A. Mazina no longer hamper either the size of the Don, nor its form, nor the canon of the city – a vertical two-tiered composition. Not for use in everyday life, but for the exhibition the master writes his panel “In haymaking”, using the shape of a spinach donut.The fact that in the hands of the master is no longer a spinning wheel, but a peculiar picture, allows him to operate freely in space, making it deeper, introducing more elements of the landscape, which was not typical of the traditional Gorodets painting.
The characters also become different: hairdresses change, dresses become shorter. It is quite appropriate now to depict village guys in T-shirts and T-shirts of athletes.
New time brought a lot of previously unprecedented in the surrounding life, changed the public status of folk masters. After, it would seem, the complete decline of the fishery, in the 1930s, there was a hope for a better future. The townspeople begin to prepare for the grandiose exhibition “People’s Creativity” in Moscow. Recognition of the significance of their work could not but inspire these very young people, and they again, as in their best years, begin to glorify the joy of life. Strange as it may sound today, when we know the sad destinies of many townspeople, and even the masters themselves, but even then, in the cruel thirties, they sincerely believed in good, remained the same “enchanted wanderers” born to see around only beautiful. Unlike the “scientists” of the artists of that time, consciously carrying out the social order, they did not in the least sneer in their views on the then life, while maintaining the major, joyful sounding of the painting.
At the pre-war exhibitions of folk art, the works of Gorodets artists were often exhibited with great success, but, as a rule, these exhibitions limited the work. Old masters could not attract young people to their work. From the next generation only A.E. Konovalov and KI Lebedev, son of I.K. Lebedev. On the eve of the Great Patriotic War, Gorodets masters were forced to paint the dishes “under Khokhloma” and decorate the station of the children’s railway with a painting.
Even more complicated was the situation of the Gorodets fishing during the Great Patriotic War and in the first post-war years. The war took the lives of many Gorodets craftsmen, their children and relatives, to whom by inheritance they could transfer a taste for art. The production of painted items practically ceased. The first steps to revive production were made in the 1950s.
The most difficult post-war years in the life of the fishery are connected with the truly selfless activity of the descendant of the old masters A.E. Konovalov. Practically on an empty place with his daily participation, and then under his leadership at the turn of the 1940s and 50s, painting workshops were created in the woods first in Kurtsev, and later in Gorodets. Despite illnesses and advanced age, he was helped by P.I. Sundukov, PD Kolesov, D.I. Kryukov, who returned from the front of T.F. Krasnoyarov, the son of the famous Gorodets master.
His skill, knowledge of the history of the fishery A.E. Konovalov tried to pass on to the youth, clearly realizing that fishing can only be promoted by the art of new craftsmen. The creation of a department dedicated to teaching this art, with an artistic vocational school in Semenov, was of historic importance for the city painting and its future. The first group of students, very young girls from the surrounding villages, turned out to be surprisingly talented, most of them associated their future life with the town’s painting. They became the pride of the craft, the core of the creative collective of the Gorodets Painting Factory, organized in 1960.
Since the 1960s, the craft has lived the life of the Soviet artistic and industrial production with all its attributes: workshops, plans, financial indicators, concerns about raw materials and the sale of products. It was, undoubtedly, something quite different than the small family workshops in the Uzola valley. The social status of the masters has changed, the whole way of their life has become urban, which, naturally, should have affected the art of painting. Instead of spineless daughters, slaves, stools, Gorodets masters, as a rule, women, young girls, painted children’s furniture, decorative plates, breadboxes, caskets and boxes, created decorative panels. The transition to these new things was inevitable, dictated by new living conditions and the development of folk art. But he allowed to preserve the nature and beauty of the painting, its connection with useful things in everyday life, which was always characteristic of the urban fishery. Another indispensable condition for the existence of this traditional painting is for a hundred and fifty years is a sincere love for her and the masters themselves, and many Nizhny Novgorod residents, and all Russians who live sometimes far from the homeland of the fishery.
Each of the famous townspeople artists have their preferences in traditional art. Hardly would II. Stolesnikova write a panel “The Battle of Borodino,” if there were no old city “battlelist” GL. Polyakova. A lot of true urban humor and at the same time a degree of solicitude in the works of LA. Kubatkina, V.A. Chertkovoy. In the works of A.V. Sokolova wonderful ability to build a multi-figure composition, to solve the space of the interior, to write heroes truly in the city.
Masters of Gorodets mural
Unique unique lyrical remains in every composition FN. Kasatova: such masters were not, perhaps, in the old Gorodets. Painting LF Bespalova only attracts her peculiar virtuosic and at the same time temperamental smear, the fineness of the use of whitewash. L.F. Bespalov, undoubtedly, a gifted colorist, in the perception of color, it is inherent in the nobility of the old Gorodets. Outwardly reserved person, she has a good deal of humor, which certainly affected her famous work “Old and New Gorodets”. This work, along with the triptych A.V. Sokolova “The young lady-peasant woman” was an important stage in the return to Gorodets of the plot painting, practically lost in the fishery by the 1960s. The artists of the post-war generation, the first pupils of A.E. Konovalov, did a great creative work, having mastered all the richness of the Gorodetsky flower ornament, revived the city’s plot, proved that in the production environment it is possible to reveal bright creative individuals. Much has been done by them to continue the best traditions of the fishery, to educate the young Gorodets painters, to expand their creative horizons.