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The idea of the picture arose at Kustodiev during his stay at the Hermitage Hotel, whose windows overlook the Volga embankment. It was she who served as the prototype of the holiday of life that was captured by the artist — cozy stalls with sweets, street tea drinking, marinas with steamboats, the Resurrection Cathedral, visible on the other side of the Volga, and all this space is filled with philistines, merchants, in general, purely “Kustodievsky” characters.
And if you listen, you can hear, it seems, a romance coming from somewhere, which evokes Ostrovsky’s “dowry” in his memory. Larisa with Paratov and the others are about to appear ... On the whole, the picture of the provincial life, captured from the height of the second floor, produces a truly pacifying, strangely harmonious impression.
Kustodiev was not in vain called the "dreamer of life." Like Gogol, through detail he seeks to portray the character of the Russian nation, to convey the longing for the bygone Rus with its unhurried patriarchal order on the eve of the events of the twentieth century. Having once gone on vacation to the Kostroma province, he first saw a fair that struck him with its brightness and variety of interesting faces to the core. Hence the latent desire of the artist to capture the festive side of the life of the people - perhaps not without the influence of the creator of “Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka”.
Yet Kustodiev by nature is a modernist artist, which manifests itself in a detached, already slightly ironic outline of everyday life, which is no, no, and it appears. At a purely artistic level, the Art Nouveau style is expressed by a certain conventionality, one might even say, by the unreality of the depicted. When you see Kustodiev’s paintings, you won’t guess right away whether it’s an image of a busy street, or simply bright scenery, or a pattern on a tapestry.
Horsewoman Bryullov Karl