The avant-garde artist Natalya Sergeevna Goncharova, who worked at the beginning of the twentieth century, in her works was not limited to one style. She was interested in such trends as futurism and cubism. But most of her work was done in the style of neo-primitivism.
The artist was inspired by folk art, especially popular prints, Russian iconography, as well as images of pagan gods. A distinctive feature of the work in this style was the use of color spots, devoid of volume and enclosed in a black outline frame.
In the painting “Bathing Horses” we see an idyllic scene from rural life. Barefoot bearded peysans in bright shirts bathe their horses in the piercing blue water of a fast river. A pair of horses - bay and gray already in the water, and a third, also bay color still on the way.
One of the men dismounted and stood knee-deep in the river, holding his horse on occasion. His actions frightened a small flock of white geese, with a gaggle flying away. On the shore there are two more horseless men, barefoot and in caps, watching what is happening. Century-old trees with yellow-green foliage grow along the coast, and in the background are alternating green stripes of arable land.
The canvas resembles a traditional splint - the figures of people and horses are flat, although a peasant leading a horse can see muscle tubercles under a dark red shirt, and the outlines of a gray horse are not devoid of the grace inherent in horses.
Ideally parallel strips of arable land rise up to the horizon, leaving the observer a small strip of gray-blue sky, however, almost hidden by the spreading branches of a tree in the center of the picture. The white-yellow reflection of this tree, which replaced most of the blue from the river surface, is blocked by a chain of leaves of water lilies.
Kuindzhi Early Spring