The river at noon - Ilya Semenovich Ostroukhov. 65.5 x 104
This picture is sometimes also called “Kupava at the pond,” because its foreground depicts typical inhabitants of the water bodies of central Russia - snow-white water lilies on the background of large dark green heart-shaped leaves.
Water occupies most of the canvas, passing along the diagonal and giving the image the necessary dynamism. At the water's edge, immediately behind a small shallow, richly covered with reeds, a group of dense, slightly disheveled trees grows whose trunks are invisible under the plentiful caps of leaves. Behind them, smooth hills rise low hills that extend beyond the canvas.
All other greens on the canvas are dark and not high. On the horizon is visible a strip of dense forest, in which individual trees are barely visible. All the attention of the audience focuses on the central group of trees, the water surface and charming water lilies.
The water in the river is covered with small ripples, but it looks very calm, like glass or a mirror. The effect of movement creates a reflection of the leaves of trees on the shore. In other places, water reproduces the sky above the river. It is covered with light clouds - white, fluffy and rare. These do not bring rain with them, but simply cover the hot midday sun. This deprives the picture of clear shadows, but enriches it with halftones, adding picturesqueness and tenderness.
The sky is very pale, whitened by the sun, so the water seems equally light and shallow. This is emphasized by the water lilies growing here. They choose clean calm water with a weak current. In the picture, water lilies practically cover the surface of the water in the corner of the canvas. This artistic technique balances a copious amount of greenery and dense colors in the opposite side of the canvas.
The canvas breathes silence, peace, evokes a sense of peace and enjoyment of natural beauty, not affected by human intervention.