Still life with lilac. 1930s - Russian impressionism museum
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Still life with lilac. 1930s

Mikhail Shemyakin


In his oeuvre, Mikhail Shemyakin painted more portraits than landscapes. He was much more interested in people. And when the painter took up staged motifs, they were most often flowers. “Landscape with Lilacs” was painted later in the artist’s life, in the 1930s. Shemyakin’s painting in the Soviet period became more dynamic and endowed with unprecedented expressiveness. Bright, shocking colors appear on the canvas - not just red, like other painters, but green, blue, and lilac. The painting takes on an expressive character. 

Once, Mikhail Shemyakin, picking mushrooms with his son in the so-called Frost Forest, unexpectedly came across Vladimir Mayakovsky. 

-”Ah, Shemyakin!” said Mayakovsky, “I saw your work at the exhibit. You are a Realist-Impressionist-Cubist!”

Shemyakin loved this description, as he never lost his link to realism. His paintings were always based on nature, but reproduced on canvas in an exclusively emotional and impressionistic way, often becoming an almost planar color painting, as in this still life with lilacs.