Petrov-Vodkin K. Mother. 1915 Mother
Oil on canvas. 107 x 98.5
Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin was particularly interested in national roots, ideals and traditions in the mid-1910s, at the start of the First World War. Mother is based on a life motif, transformed by the master’s own personal vision. The outer appearance of the young peasant woman breast-feeding her baby grows into an image of the Madonna and Child, full of divine grace. The monumental figurative structure of the painting is intensified by the sonorous tones and dominant reds, the favourite colour of the Russian people.
Petrov-Vodkin K. Morning. 1917 Morning
Oil on canvas. 161 x 129
Several aspects of Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin’s Morning — the composition and the flat dimensions and space — reflect the artist’s interest in Old Russian painting and the early Italian Renaissance. The images of the mother and son, with their icon-like postures and austere facial expressions, are like a Russian version of the theme of the Virgin and Child. The pensive woman tenderly holding the baby is both a peasant woman from the banks of the River Volga and the Mother of God giving her son up to the world. The other female figures are both bathers and the holy women who accompanied Christ to the Cross. The complex imagery appears to reflect the moods of the period — the First World War and the revolution.