Painters Paintings Boris Mikhaylovich Kustodiev (1878 – 1927): The Fair, 1910, Tempera on cardboard…
Painters Work Boris Mikhaylovich Kustodiev (1878 – 1927): The Honest, 1910, Tempera on cardboard, 120 × 71 cm (47.2 × 28 in), The A. N. Radishchev Museum of Arts, Saratov, Russia
Boris Kustodiev has a spot of honour amongst these Russian artists of the early twentieth century. A proficient genre-painter, grasp of psychological portraiture, e-book illustrator and stage-set artist, Kustodiev produced masterpieces in virtually all of the imitative arts. However his expertise is most obvious in his poetic work on themes from the lifetime of the individuals, through which he conveyed the inexhaustible energy and great thing about the Russian soul.
Kustodiev was particularly attracted by the theme of village festivals and merrymaking, with their brightness, spontaneity and coarse people humour.
In 1910 he painted ‘The Honest’, through which a vibrant crowd is seen milling about outdoors the retailers’ stalls. Though the scene portrayed is commonplace and seemingly haphazard, a lot thought and care was put into the composition of the piece. The daring mixtures of brilliant colors lend it a decorativeness not unlike that of fashionable prints of the time.