Fyodor Vasilyev - The Thaw
The quiet, peace and absence of people in the poetic works of Fyodor Vasilyev (The Thaw, 1871) are far from always being the same as serenity. An unstable, transitional moment in nature — both in the passage of the seasons (the shift from cold to warm) and in its immediate state (grey clouds skimming across a leaden sky; the black melt-water cutting through the covering of snow; the trees shaken by the wind) — in Vasilyev’s painting evoke complex thoughts about the fate of the world. The motif of the travellers standing on the washed-out road is also symbolic. This great talent, who died at the age of only twenty-three, but nonetheless left an enormous stock of meditations in dozens of poetically sad paintings, inscrutably animated nature, endowing it with the ability to feel.