Museums and Art

“The first snow”, Arkady Aleksandrovich Plastov - description of the painting

“The first snow”, Arkady Aleksandrovich Plastov - description of the painting

The first snow is Arkady Aleksandrovich Plastov. 113 x 146 cm

It was 1946, the first post-war year. And in this difficult time, the artist paints one of the most lyrical paintings, filled with light and quiet joy.

Despite the simple plot and the lack of bright colors, the canvas attracts the views of the audience. Calm silver-blue, ash-gray tones and various shades of white perfectly convey the pearly light of a winter morning, a feeling of fresh air and light frost. The vertical arrangement of the canvas creates a feeling of spaciousness.

The village dressed up, hiding in the first snow outfit. Whirling, fluffy flakes slowly fall from the sky, everything around is white and white. Attention immediately attracted by the blank wall of a small wooden house. The dried out logs changed color over time, became grayish-whitish, only light brown spots of a real tree still remained in some places. The gaps between them are carefully caulked by a reddish tow.

Near the house in a small front garden grows a large spreading birch. Its thin branches quietly swing in the wind, chocolate-brown earrings quietly knock on the logs. Dark marks on a tree trunk blacken against the background of a snowy village and a gloomy sky. Near the birch high bushes with faded leaves stick out from the snowdrift. A rickety fence awaits the owner's hands.

The first snow transformed everything around: decorated an old roof, laid a soft blanket on wet ground. A large puddle near the front garden froze at night and the snow gradually covers the greenish-gray ice. An important crow is walking nearby.

On the top step of the house, the children froze, surprised at the wonderful change in the appearance of the village. The boy managed to get dressed for a walk: on his legs there were big gray boots with shining overshoes that were too big for him, a warm black coat for outgrowth, a fur hat with earflaps lowered over his forehead. He is a little bewildered and silently looks at the changed street. Together with him, having forgotten to close the door behind herself, an older girl jumped out of the house. Hastily slipping her legs into black felt boots, she threw a woolen light-sand scarf with a fringe over her head and froze, holding it with her hands. A light home dress is softly moving in the wind. Mischievous eyes peek out from under the thick dark chestnut bangs, a delicate blush playing on the cheeks. Raising her face to the sky and biting her lower lip, she looks fascinated at the falling snow. The eyes burn with admiration and expectation of a miracle. It seems that the girl is now jumping with delight and clapping her hands. Soft diffused light illuminates everything around, almost without creating shadows on the first snow cover.

The artist does not use pure white color at all in the picture. In an effort to achieve the effect of snow radiance, he creates a huge variety of halftones, mixing white paint with pearl blue and silver shades.

In the background, canvases heavy lead-gray clouds hang low above the ground. Small houses almost dissolve against a dark gray-blue sky. Only the roofs covered with freshly fallen snow, with pale blue spots attract attention. Light ash-white smoke spreads along the logs, clinging to the ground. It is deserted on the street, everything breathes peace.

The silence of the morning is disturbed by the chirping of a white-faced magpie, gaily jumping along the branches of a birch, and the quiet voice of a man driving along a street in a sleigh.

Charming winter fairy tale, filled with quiet joy, happiness and warm memories. This picture is still widely known; many generations of schoolchildren wrote an essay on it. The canvas rightfully takes its rightful place among the masterpieces of Soviet art.