Image of a horse in the russian painting: Kozma Petrov-Vodkin
The image of a horse in the Russian art was poignant with meaning since the ancient times. In the figurative-poetic structure of the Slavic mythology, a horse was a mentor and savior of a man, it was a horse-destiny each step of which meant a lot.
Bathing of the Red Horse is the most famous painting by Kozma Petrov-Vodkin created in 1912 which brought him international fame. From the letters to his relatives it became clear that the image of the rider was painted from a cousin of Kozma Sergeevich - Shura (Aleksandr Ivanovich Trofimov). The horse was painted by Petrov-Vodkin from a real stallion, Malchik, which lived at the estate.
For the artist’s contemporaries, the picture became a symbol of the future social changes, it referred to the "feeling of the time breathing". "I had three choices, recalled the artist, in the process of work I produced more and more demands of a purely scenic character that would proclaim the form and content and would give the picture some social significance“. The painter managed to combine the traditions of the Russian icons, early Italian frescoes and neoclassical tendencies. It seems that cold colors of the water and rounded shoreline "put the miraculous "firelike" horse forward, it seems that it is no longer in the picture but in front of you.
D.V. Sarabyanov, an art researcher, when analyzing the picture, wrote about it: "The symbol ... is very capacious, it has something of the Blok’s steppe filly the image of which has gathered ... the past of Russia, its difficult present and the eternal, timeless, what is left to it forever.”