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View of the monument to Peter I on Senate Square in St. Petersburg - Vasily Surikov. 285 x 599 cm
It is hard to believe that this monumental canvas was created by the artist in his era as a student. The picture has a number of points that could lead to a dead end for a more mature master, but the young artist brilliantly dealt with them. First of all, this is a twofold illumination - the dark time of the day is captured on the canvas, the area is illuminated by the cold diffused light of the full moon and the rare lights of lanterns located next to the fence surrounding the monument to the great king. The artist perfectly managed to convey the feeling of a cold and wet St. Petersburg winter night, with its smoky air leveling colors and smoothing volumes.
Another exceptionally successful technique used by the young master in this picture was the submission of an image from a lower point, due to which the bulk of St. Isaac's Cathedral and the Bronze Horseman literally hang over the viewer, creating an almost physical sensation of their serious mass. The canvas is especially attractive due to the characteristic grayish-bluish haze that envelops everything depicted in the picture, slightly smoothing the contrasts and at the same time combining all the details. It is so well executed that it leaves just the physical sensation of river moisture emanating from the picture.
The work has many small but important details for realism - the Senate Square covered with snow with footprints and sleighs, the distant perspective of the city, light clouds in the sky illuminated by a cold moonlight, a glare of light on the dome of Isaac, a powerful figure in the backlight, clear lines of the fence and thunder-stone sprinkled with snow at the base of the monument. The image seems very natural, like a photograph, thanks to the precise distribution and different density of shadows in the snow. From this picture, you can immediately say what her great master wrote.