Petrov-Vodkin is a Russian artist, writer, teacher, in whose paintings three things can most often be observed, sometimes in combinations, sometimes not. Motherhood is the first thing. It can be a chanting of the image of the mother, her deed and holiness, or a hymn to the naturalness of procreation, with all its ordinary heroism.
The second thing is children. As a teacher, Petrov-Vodkin often talked with them and in his paintings you can often meet children who are so alive that it seems that the next moment they will break loose and run away, laughing loudly and stomping. The third thing is eroticism. He is absolutely unobtrusive and often unsolved, but he is - a hidden and sensual topic.
“Shore” - a picture in which there is the first, second, and third, but nothing catches your eye. It depicts a pebble beach, a calm, quiet river, large flat boulders. Women are sitting on the boulders - obviously, friends who came to bathe on a hot summer day. One parses wet red hair so that it does not stain clothing. The second is dreamy, thinks of something pleasant, bringing her hands to her cheek as if in tenderness. The third rolls in the fingers the smooth stones collected by her. The fourth collects stones, standing with his back to the viewer, on his knees. The fifth one is watching the others, her face is tired and skeptical, as if she is endlessly tired of this company, this summer, from conversations, from the heat and the whole world.
In the background is a mother who leads a child into the water. The child stared at the pebbles, the woman gently shoves him in the back, knowing that otherwise they will be stuck for the whole day, without reaching the water.
An ordinary simple picture, painted with great attention to detail, with knowledge of the structure of the female body, with the desire to show how simple and wonderful such a pastime can be.
And that’s all on it - a mother and a child by the water, soft unobtrusive eroticism in the naked breast of one of the girls, but all this is unimportant, because when combined into a whole, it becomes one.
Painting Ivan Tsarevich on the Gray Wolf