The rainbow is one of the favorite images of the artist Alexei Savrasov. His rainbows are not a decoration; in their depiction, it is not only masterly mastery of light and color, like Kuindzhi’s, is important. Savrasov’s rainbows are a window into the inexpressible, a symbol of the inexpressible.
Before us is a post-lightning landscape, piercingly bright greens washed by the waters of a thundering downpour, the sun’s rays are trying to break through the cloud-covered sky. In the painting “Rainbow” we see Savrasov’s favorite move – as if captured by the feeling that the next moment the sun will appear. Here Savrasov’s skill as a colorist is shown in full force – this is evidenced by the skillful combination of warm, reddish tones of the earth, emerald mossy greenery and a transparent sky.
“Rainbow” seems to be wide open to meet the viewer. It seems that a fresh wind comes from the picture, the viewer “hears” a special post-light silence, broken only by rare bird trills and the sound of buckets on the rocker. The steps made in the hill connect the foreground and background and at the same time serve as a staircase to the viewer, as if drawing him into the depths of the picture.
The landscape looks festive, while there is no embellishment in it – it seems that nature itself is celebrating the end of the rain, the rainbow and the sun shining over the expanses, the light of which will fill the sky and the earth in the next instant. A peasant woman with a yoke is walking up to the steps, carved into the hill. In the background are squat huts. As usual, Savrasov has an everyday landscape, and at the same time from him the feeling is not of everyday life, but of being, eternal, everlasting, shining in every detail. A kind of romanticism transformed through the artist’s vision, looking for the ideal not in distant distances, but discovering it everywhere, in everything that the eye falls on.
Savrasov’s landscapes are characterized by a special aching lyricism, the primordially Russian hidden longing breaks through even in his brightest paintings. No wonder the artist is considered the creator of the Russian lyrical landscape. His student Levitan said: “Savrasov tried to find in the simplest and most ordinary those intimate, deeply touching, often sad features that are so strongly felt in our native landscape and so irresistibly affect the soul.”
Year of painting: 1875.
The size of the painting: 44 × 56.5 cm.
Writing technique: oil.
Gallery: State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia.