Description of the painting by Pyotr Konchalovsky “Agave” (1916)

Description of the painting by Pyotr Konchalovsky “Agave” (1916)

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Still life "Agave", contrary to the etude of implementation, is fully completed in style and substance. The artist managed through things to show the real presence of man. The texture of the canvas conveys the external qualities of objects: paper, elastic succulent agave leaves, texture to a mirror-like polished wood. The use of the technique of semi-dry painting in combination with glaze draws attention to the relief of the painting, processed precisely for its purpose.

The development of color and texture is the main task of the master, who chose the way to adapt the color and image, believing that there is no need to repeat nature, but you need to find specific features in it and show them. Colors can also be divided by shades: light green, dark green, emerald and yellow tones were used to express the agave leaf, which together give the impression of a plant's richness, volume and gloss of the leaves.

The same method is used to image a deep blue curtain and the plane of a wooden tabletop in brown and olive shades. The texture of the table and the clay pot is perfectly spelled out, where chiaroscuro conveys the slightest roughness and unevenness. The striking red cover of a miniature book, located on top of a brown folio, yellow pieces of paper, a motley box set off the foliage of the flower, reviving and highlighting it on the canvas.

There are no random colors and textures on the canvas, everything is thought out and compositionally justified. The gilded shimmering monogram-shaped cup handle is elegantly and refined. The artist sensibly feels the quality of color, the edges of the color spot: his paints correlate with the shape of objects, form it. Brush strokes sometimes seem rude, but in fact they correctly fall into tone, together giving the concept of an object through the richness of the color of the picture.

The main feature of the still life is distortion and loss of shape: the corner of the magazine disappears, the tabletop plane is deleted at a distance, the two sides of the flower pot lose each other at the point of separation by their agave sheet, their silhouette does not fit. There is a deliberate violation of the spatial relationships of things, it seems that the tube seems to be glued to the box. It seems that the form of objects is not of interest to the master, but he is only concerned with color. Later, Konchalovsky refused this method of intentional deformation.

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