Grandma’s Garden - Vasily Dmitrievich Polenov. 54.7 x 65 cm
Sadness over the “noble nests” that go down in history can be seen in many works of the late XIX - early XX centuries. The most penetrating masterpiece in painting with a similar theme was created by Vasily Polenov in 1878, and this is “Grandma’s Garden”.
Polenov still found the blooming of "noble nests" - he often visited his grandmother's estate in Olshanka of the Tambov province and sincerely admired this place. Having conceived the picture, the artist, first of all, wanted to embody a philosophical thought, and he successfully succeeded. The passing era, the change of generations, the renewal and the gradual painful disappearance of the old way - these are the main leitmotifs of the picture.
The work is written in the genre of "mood landscape" - a personal find of the master. Polenov preferred not to raise acute social issues in his works, not to escalate the situation, he noted a certain mood, showed the plot, calmly, simply and eloquently.
In the picture, the viewer sees an old typical noble mansion - all of Moscow and its suburbs were built up with such buildings after the fire of 1812. These houses were wooden, but the characteristic columns and a thick layer of plaster should create the illusion of a solid stone structure. The viewer sees how the bottom of such a "fake column" peeled off, exposing the wooden masonry.
The graceful pediment of the building speaks of high taste and classical architecture, but at the same moment, eyes notice the peeling and sprinkling stucco molding, a rusty cornice, indicating the abandonment of a once beautiful house.
An overgrown beautiful garden was once regular, but now it is a masterful green that has not been trimmed for a long time, which is why the whole landscape decoration looks neglected.
In the foreground, the main characters are a twisted old woman in an old-fashioned cap and a young granddaughter in a fashionable dress. A vivid juxtaposition of the old and the new. Grandmother looks as decrepit as her house - the peeling walls of the mansion can be compared to the hooked figure of an elderly heroine.
The color scheme of the picture is truly beautiful and colorful. Even after the first exhibition, V. Stasov, wary of Polenov, praised Grandma’s Garden for the freshness of color. And indeed, the riot of greenery, bright sun glare, yellow track, blue sky - all this presents the plot in a very realistic and detailed way.
Looking at the jagged steps of a high staircase, one can easily imagine how many graceful shoes flew up this porch, carefully crossing the path and looking at a beautiful well-groomed garden. Here, they were probably very happy, loved, suffered, laughed - life was in full swing here. However, today, everything around is only an echo of a long celebration of life. The era of wealthy estates is leaving, giving way to a new way of life, and the destructive noble nests can only see their old women away and keep echoes of noisy days, the buzz of human voices, the clatter of hooves approaching the porch of the crews.