Houses on the Outskirts. Beginning of XX century
Oil on cardboard
They called Yevgeny Stolitsa "the most Russian of artists" and one of the clearest examples of the ‘country’ motif frequently found in his paintings is this "Houses on the Outskirts." Simple and full of quiet sadness, it has a landscape poetry that conveys the sense of a warm summer evening, shrouded in the thick twilight of sunset. Perhaps this picture evokes memories of Stolitsa’s own faraway home and his previous life there - the artist was born in a small village near Odessa, into the family of a gamekeeper. Arkhip Kuindzhi, Stolitsa’s teacher at the St. Petersburg Academy, did not take the Impressionists seriously. But he did not argue with his students nor discourage them from working on such “French innovations.” Because of this, Stolitsa was able to form his own style: freer, more lively, and close to the impressionistic style. Kuindzhi is known to have treated Stolitsa with special favour. He could not help but celebrate his hard work, directness and sincerity: "... Stolitsa cannot ‘compose’ a picture, so let him paint from life - it turns out so much better for him that way," Kuindzhi once said in class.