Little Church in Abramtsevo. 1953
Oil on hardboard
The artist Valentina Diffine-Christi lived for some years in evacuation in Samarkand, and as a member of the Moscow branch of the Union of Artists she travelled widely in the Soviet Union: to the Caucasus, Crimea, and the old Russian cities. Yet most of all she loved to paint her native Moscow region. "Little Church in Abramtsevo" is a picture from a Moscow region cycle. The full-scale painting is rich in colour and light. The artist insisted that she didn’t imagine images like this—she really did see the world around her this way. In this early work, Diffine-Christi was influenced by Cezanne and Falk, but her manner of painting is original, fearless—and far from harmless for Soviet art of the 1940's and early 50s.