Paintings

Description of the painting Kukryniksy “Flight of the Nazis from Novgorod”


Kukryniksy is a pseudonym that connected three painters. The name is composed of the initial syllables of the names of Mikhail Kupriyanov and Porfiry Krylov, including capital letters of the name and surname of Nikolai Sokolov.

Artists worked together, but each was characterized by its own creative personality. Kupriyanov, for example, worked a lot on landscapes, Krylov painted portraits and picturesque panoramas of Europe, and Sokolov painted with touching tenderness the beauty of the nature of his native places and the everyday scenes of Moscow life. The creative trio gained fame thanks to numerous cartoons, among which were a series of book illustrations, political cartoons, propaganda and anti-Nazi posters and leaflets. Kukryniksy, by right, were classics of political caricature, in particular, they created several paintings and pastel drawings dedicated to the Patriotic War.

One of the best paintings is “Germans Flight from Novgorod”. The authors truthfully and vividly depicted the city in January 1944. Arriving in the liberated city, the Kukryniksy saw with their own eyes a terrible picture of the vandalist destruction, which they then thoughtfully and visually transferred to the canvas. The painting was inspired, on the one hand, by hatred of the enemy, and on the other, by love for the motherland and praise of Soviet patriotism.

It is noteworthy that the central figures are not people, but the unshakable creations of Russian architecture. The majestic St. Sophia Cathedral, whose walls and domes are dotted with potholes, proudly shines behind the retreating Germans. Enemies in a panic rush about with torches in their hands, cowardly setting fire to the wreckage, in an attempt to stop the advance of Soviet soldiers. In the snow, fragments of the Millennium of Russia monument, mercilessly and deliberately sawn by the Nazis, are randomly scattered. One of the bronze figures with an outstretched hand is brought to the forefront, appealing for revenge.

National shrines, therefore, embody the strength and invincibility of the Russian people. Illuminated by the warm rays of the sun, the cathedral at the same time combines the tragedy and grandeur of cultural heritage. Despite the glare of the fire in the background, puffs of smoke move toward the fleeing enemy. The walls of the cathedral are snow-white and shine, and beyond its walls the sky clearing from the burning clubs brightens. The general tension and dramatic nature of the plot is conveyed by color contrasts and sacred symbols in the images of the canvas, thereby enhancing its emotional sound.

A complex original composition together with the relevance of the plot and ideological content attract and make clear the picture for all generations. Deeply patriotic and folk art made this work of the Kukryniksov one of the most significant wartime works.





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