This colourful landscape shows two women bathing in a stream. The figures have been painted with a sculptural sense of volume and Konchalovsky seems to be echoing the works of Renoir, Rodin and Maillol. Konchalovsky has painted a shimmering, fragmented sense of the light filtering through the trees and both the style and composition recalls the landscapes of Cezanne. Konchalovsky knew Cezanne's work well and his debt of artistic inspiration to the French artists of the late 19th century has been fully documented.
In 1929, the year before this landscape was painted, Konchalovsky had participated in an international exhibition at the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh, USA, and he was about exhibit his 7th Personal Exhibition at the Moscow State University. In the summer of 1930, Konchalovsky was working in Bakhchisarai in Central Crimea. A century before, Alexander Pushkin had similarly been inspired by this location and, between 1821-1823, he wrote his poem, The Fountain of Bakchisarai. It cannot be a coincidence that, in 1930, Konchalovsky also decided to begin work on a portrait of Pushkin. The landscape and beauty of Bakhchisarai was clearly intoxicating for all men of romantic vision and creativity.
Oil on canvas
80cm x 71cm
Konchalovsky was born in the village of Slavianka. His father was an art publisher and in 1889 the family moved to Moscow where they became a central part of the art scene. Their house was often visited by Valentin Serov, Mikhail Vrubel, Vasily Surikov, whose daughter Petr later married.
Konchalovsky attended classes at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture and in 1896 he traveled to Paris and studied at the Académie Julian. In 1899, he returned to Russia and entered the Imperial Academy of Arts in Saint Petersburg, graduating in 1907.
From 1909, he exhibited frequently, participating in the "Golden Fleece", "Fraternity", "Mir Iskusstva", and the New Society of Artists. He was a founding member of the Jack of Diamonds Society in 1909. During this period, he mostly drew still lifes and landscapes. His paintings were strongly influenced by Paul Cézanne. Later he started to paint portraits that were considered as the examples of Socialist Realism style.