Dinamo Skating Rink. 1948 - Russian impressionism museum

Dinamo Skating Rink. 1948

Pyotr Konchalovsky

Oil on canvas
89.5X62.5

A winter evening in post-war Moscow: soft lights in the windows and the white-blue ice of the rink, silhouettes of houses visible through the trees merging in the twilight into a single elegant mass of indigo blue - the sky still retaining the tints of the recent sunset. This spot, familiar to Muscovites, brings back memories of the old city and how Moscow used to be, - it seems that the artist is looking down on the rink from above, perhaps from a window. This is not the first painting by Petr Konchalovsky that features an open-air skating rink; he had developed the subject in his earlier work, but did so with a deliberately restrained hand, in a ‘washy’ kind of way, “always afraid of killing the novelty of impression with an overload of paint.” In this piece, however, the artist did not hold back: note the refined colouring and saturation, the luminous paints and feather-like strokes. Konchalovsky admitted that he usually started working on a landscape with a sketch or two: “When I chance on a suitable piece of nature, I already have a concept for the whole thing, seeing and feeling my way towards ‘arranging’ the landscape. I could never just take it as it is, as a photographer would: without composition there is no art, only naked naturalism, which I consider to be the worst enemy of art, and its most contagious disease.”