Boris Kustodiev is the Russian Rubens of his time. In his works, the artist praised the female beauty in all its manifestations. Images B. Kustodiev captured the magnificent merchants, naked Russian beauties.
Many criticized his works, nevertheless, furtively admiring the beauty and color of his paintings.
B. Kustodiev was faithful to the traditions of Russian realists, depicting simple stories with understandable images. He did not care about the conviction of breaking traditions and trends. He was fascinated by the Russian folk popular and inspired by the ideals of beauty, far from the perfection that society required.
We can say that his paintings are echoes and longings for another “nonexistent” Russia. This is a fabulous and epoch-making country, where, in his mind, it is full-bodied women that symbolize the harmony and comfort of the Russian world.
The type of such a woman is clearly reflected in the painting “The Bather” of 1921.
In the center of the plot, attention is focused on the figure of the girl, as if taken by surprise at the time of bathing. A golden braid thrown over her shoulder, pink and warm orange tones of the girl’s charms are open for admiring.
The pose itself, in which the bather is captured, is designed to demonstrate the natural beauty and attractiveness of the young body. The girl’s face is as if copied from the heroines of folk tales and fairy tales - a light blush, high arches of eyebrows, a chiseled nose, and juicy cherry lips. Against the background of nature, the bather looks organically and aesthetically. Natural and insanely attractive, alluring and tempting.
The true standard of the Russian beauty is surrounded by the delightful beauty and symbolism of the native land. A typical rural landscape on the neighboring shore, a birch, sheltering in its shadow a beautiful nymph. The wealth of the female body and surrounding nature are woven into each other, creating an unusually warm and picturesque picture.
Painting Early Spring