Autumn Morning at the Campfire. Relaxation. 1959
Oil on cardboard
"I'm doing a landscape in three brush strokes. The first smear is the sky, the second the land, and the third my signature." Of course, Dmitry Nalbandyan was exaggerating a little when he said this. In the painting "Autumn Morning at the Campfire. Relaxation" there are not three, but a swarm of fleeting, pulsating strokes, each of them powerful, energetic, and kinetic. Shapes and emotions are born from the clash of colours: the autumn campfire, crackling firewood, the smell of smoke, the heat of the fire, the freshness and coolness of the autumn morning. Look at the ecstasy and reverie depicted in the cowherd resting by the fire. The artist has caught him in a relaxed pose, while the animals merge with the landscape. We can see echoes of the green of the departing summer, and patches of orange and burgundy, ochre and gold—all the riches of the autumn palette. The effect of the humid air and the aromatic autumn dampness highlights the difference in density of foreground and background. Compare the liquid, transparent paint of the grass with the dense strokes of the trees. "I will never confuse the clear air of Italy sprinkled with sparks of sunlight, with the bluish haze enveloping Mount Ararat, or the soft gold of a Moscow sunset," he wrote once. Who would have expected such poetic words from the artist who made perhaps the most significant contribution in the creation of the “Lenin” and “Stalin” pictorial style in Soviet art?