On the 26th of February, an exhibition called “Normandy” opened in the summer studio of the Ilya Repin Museum. The highlights of this exhibition are the paintings of Stas Borodin.
During the summer and autumn, the artist had been travelling along the Norman coast of France. These places have always had a special power over the artists such as Charles-François Daubigny, Oscar-Claude Monet, Georges Braque and others. The most famous places on the western coast of France are Etretat, Dieppe, Le Tréport and Veules-les-Roses. Veules-les-Roses is well-known thanks to its picturesque cliff landscapes and the shortest river in France (1,100 meters), along which we can count 13 watermills. During the 19th century, Veules-les-Roses became popular not only among French artists but also among artists from Russia. In 1874, Russian artist A. Bogolubov invited his fellow students to Veules-les-Roses: Ilya Repin, Vasily Polenov and Konstantin Savickiy (students who had graduated from the Art Academy with medals of honor, who had special privileges and a stipend from the academy to study art abroad for sex years). In a letter to Polenov, who was still in Paris, Repin wrote about their lives in Veules-les-Roses: “Our flat is great! The small river, trees, fence and lull noise of the watermills…just like in a fairy tale! And the sea is just fascinating!” In 2001 in Veules-les-Roses, local French historian Mary Cleir and Dominic Florance organased an exhibition of works devoted to the landscapes of the town which had been created by Russian artists. An interesting fact is that after this event, one of the pedestrian areas of the town was named the “Passage of Russian artists”.
Travelling to such beautiful places and painting the most favorite motifs of the great masters must be a very responsible deal. The manner of Stas Borodin developed according to the French tradition of open air painting. The artist combined the artistic principles of impressionists with the theory of colors that had been declared by Paul Cézanne. The exhibition displays 17 of Stas Borodin’s works. Each work is full of personal creative power and the artist’s reflections on nature and life. As we have already mentioned, the exhibition took its place in the Ilya Repin “Penates” Museum. This is not a coincidence. Here among the exposition’s items, one can find an etude which was made by Repin in Veules-les-Roses. The title of this work is “Seashore, Normandy”. This is how the connection between different epochs appears and we see the sense of the word tradition.
The exhibition is really interesting. One can find on display the beautiful landscapes of Normandy, another – a special artistic manner which involves the viewer emotionally in nomadic scenery. A professional eye will appreciate the harmony of composition and colors; the aesthetic side of the artist’s oeuvre.