Avenue of Plane Trees. 1969
Oil on canvas
“Avenue of Plane Trees” has a marvellous lightness of brushstroke and bold combinations of colour. It’s summer in a resort town, and people are strolling down a wide avenue in the park, between the quiet rows of mighty trees. There is a remarkable mood of inner joy and peace, a sense of simplicity and privacy in the simple motif, and at the same time a spaciousness and grandeur. The artist Ivan Kovalenko ventures into an array of pure, bright colours: the sonorous greens, indigoes, and reds are complemented with tender hues of purple, pink, blue and lilac. On this deliciously fine day, the figures at the far end of the avenue, just slightly shaped in rich colourful strokes, seem perfectly harmonious against the picturesque background. Later, Kovalenko would stop making such inspirational landscapes and turn to serious historical painting. Together with his son, a talented illustrator, he created a whole series of epic pieces that would be very far removed from his early works, such as this one. However, they too would benefit from these impressionistic experiments with colour and perfect sense of environment in light and air.