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Vladimir Stozharov (1926-1973)
Summery days in early autumn
1972

Vladimir Stozharov (1926-1973)
Summery days in early autumn
1972

signed and dated lower right
oil on canvas
54 x 92 cm

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"Summery days in early Autumn" is a fascinating example of a bountiful, complex, bright Russian school of painting, created by a traditional artist, virtuoso of landscape painting, Vladimir Fedorovich Stozharov. The artist has already found his unique, personal artistic manner and the most important theme that has formed his art at an early age, being inspired by the infinite beauty of his homeland as a result of constant travelling across the country. Vladimir Fedorovich worked tirelessly, ardently, and with true passion throughout all of his career, depicting the unique charm of the Northern villages with their nature, architecture and peasant, folk life. The painting evidently manifests Stozharov's extraordinary colouristic gift: vivid, articulating, rich colours create joyful, festive mood. "Summery days in early Autumn" presents to the viewer a field lit by the warm sun with numerous haystacks. It seems that it is already possible to feel the tart aroma, soaring in these days that echo summer, the period in September or late October, when the harvest has already been gathered and, finally, the one can enjoy the last warmth. This is a very special time in the countryside, in the peasant calendar. Stozharov has not only consistently captured the way of life of the common, village folk but also was captivated by modernity harmoniously intertwined with centuries-old traditions and customs. His landscapes are a living, precise expression of time, despite the appeal to the images of antiquity and pastoral subject matters. An untouched, pure landscape as such is not of interest to the artist. For Vladimir Fedorovich, the presence of man, the changes that people have brought to nature, the harmony in which people coexist and their contemporary environment in distant villages, have always been much more significant and impressive. This topic has become particularly relevant in the growing industrial world, where the agenda included issues of technological progress and the role of man and society in relation to nature.

Stozharov has continued the tradition of painting and lyrical, poetic trends coming from the Union of Russian artists. The artists of this artistic association, such as A. E. Arkhipov, K. F. Yuon, L. V. Turzhansky, were characterised by a connection of realistic painting style with the accuracy of the details, in other words, with the truthfulness of the referral to the material world, as well as with a certain poetic vision. Despite this tendency to poetic expression, there is no ephemerality in the landscapes of Stozharov, there are no illusions of the artist or prevailing ideologies, yet the appeal to the material world, to the real, dominates in his landscapes. "Summery days in early Autumn", like other works of Vladimir Fedorovich, is imbued with a sense of beauty, generosity, joy of earthly life. In each of his landscapes, the artist clearly shows his desire to eulogise his native land, to be inspired by it and to be filled with its power. This cultivation of the sense of the Motherland, finding anew what seemed so familiar and ordinary for a long time, stems from the memory of the past war. The life-changing, traumatic experiences of the war helped to take a fresh look at the one's surroundings, to distinctly feel the surge of love for their country. Thus, the mundane, prosaic rituals, traditions, everyday life of the people represented in the paintings of Stozharov has been elevated to the status of a constant celebration. An aspiration to see, to discover something deep and perpetual in the ordinary, common, has assisted Vladimir Fedorovich to overcome the external pathos, which is often so characteristic of socialist realism, to move away from clichés and decorative effect. In general, the genre of landscape has undergone significant changes in Soviet art in the middle of the XX century. The strengthening of the personal beginning and new lyrical motifs led to the increasing importance of the landscape as a genre. The images of Northern Russia created by Stozharov are filled with a unique emotional sound, the strength of his temperament, creative energy and freedom. Such paintings as "Summery days in early Autumn" have become a symbol of the Motherland, a reflection of people's appreciation and devotedness to it.

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