Alexei Savrasov - Sundown over a marsh

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Sundown over a marsh
Alexei Savrasov (Russia, 1830-1897)
Oil on canvas, 88 x 139,5 cm. (34.65 x 54.72 in.)
State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg.

Alexei Kondratyevich Savrasov was one of the most important -arguably the most important- of all the 19th century Russian landscape painters, famous for his lyrical style and melancholic compositions. He was a strong influence for several later Russian landscape painters, such as Isaac Levitan and Konstantin Korovin.

Unlike other Russian artists of the time, Savrasov made several journeys to Europe, attending art fairs and exhibitions. In one of his journeys he met the work of John Constable, whose naturalistic style had a great influence in his works. His most famous work is "The rooks have returned" (read the article about this painting at theartwolf), an ode to the nature of his native Russia. But as a pure landscape, his 'Sundown over a marsh' is an unsurpassed example of his typical 'lyrical landscape' style.

The landscape is simple but yet very strong: there is no trace of human life, there is nothing but sad and endless marshes, illuminated by the gloomy evening light. The same year that this painting was completed, Savrasov’s daughter died, and the artist fell into depression and alcoholism. Therefore, the pessimistic and melancholic aspect of the work seems a reflection of the artist’s own emotions.

G. Fernández -

Savrasov - Sundown over a marsh - Detail

"Sundown over a marsh" - Detail

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