Peter the Great, thinking about the construction of St. Petersburg - Alexander N. Benois.
In the history of Russian culture at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th, Aleksandr Nikolaevich Benoit occupies a special place, he is a rare phenomenon that has absorbed all the diversity of creative activity. Art critic, writer, illustrator, art critic.
But he is also a gifted artist, whose watercolors have their own unique charm, both in performance and in plot. One of them is "Peter the Great, thinking about the construction of St. Petersburg", written in 1916.
Watercolor made by the author in the style of art nouveau or modern. It looks very organic, with a simple and natural composition, in a muffled color scheme characteristic of this style, in tobacco shades that emphasize the severity of the cold edge.
The theme of Russian history is dear to the heart of Alexander Benois, so he often returns to Pushkin’s images, including the plot of the Bronze Horseman.
How unusually masterfully captured by the artist this epoch-making moment. The figure of Peter the Great, tall and decisive, stands proudly and lonely on the shore. She is all directed away, into the future, which no one but Peter himself sees. He is passionate about his dream and does not notice neither heavy clouds, nor cold waves, nor chilly wind. He sees the city of dreams, the city of his whole life.
The people who came with him do not have such faith and such fortitude, they are cold and do not understand what the emperor can be attracted to in this deserted, windy place.
Thanks to the talent of the artist, the viewer suddenly comes up with the idea that in the picture the artist depicted exactly the day when the ingenious plan for the construction of the northern city arose and took on real shape. What exactly began St. Petersburg, which later became the most beautiful and impressive city in the world. On the shore of desert waves ...