Discover the 2 beautiful paintings of “Peasant Girls in the Forest” by Alexey Ivanovich Korzukhin

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Today we will discover two beautiful paintings of Alexey Ivanovich Korzukhin (Алексей Иванович Корзухин) called “Peasant Girls in the Forest” painted in 1877 and a second time in 1878.

It was believed for a very long time that the background of the picture was made by Shishkin but after a long painstaking study of the canvas, it was proved that the latter had nothing to do with Korzukhin’s work. 

Alexey Ivanovich Korzukhin is a Russian painter of the 19th century, originally from the Perm province who  painted canvases about the difficult peasant life, and the Cathedral of Christ the Savior.

Alexey Ivanovich Korzukhin (Алексей Иванович Корзухин)
Alexey Ivanovich Korzukhin

“Peasant Girls in the Forest” (Крестьянские девочки в лесу) , a Russian genre painting, is an oil on canvas of 94 X 68.6 cm , painted in 1877 by Alexey Ivanovich Korzukhin and was sold at an auction for $266.5 thousands in April 2011.

The second “Peasant Girls in the Forest”, also a Russian genre painting, is an oil on canvas of 43 X 36 cm, painted in 1878 by Alexey Ivanovich Korzukhin and now in the State Art Gallery of Perm.

“Peasant Girls in the Forest” 1877

"Peasant Girls in the Forest" 1877
“Peasant Girls in the Forest” 1877

On this painting, you can see, three barefoot little girls who went to the forest to collect mushrooms and berries. They were so carried away by this occupation that they did not notice how they wandered into a dense forest thicket and now they are leaning against a tree, pressed against each other and carefully peering into dark forest. They probably heard some kind of noise that scared them a lot, maybe a wild beast, or maybe a hunter who is wandering close to them.

The posture of the girls as well as their facial expressions betrays their fears, tension and confusion which is emphasized by the light and shade effects that highlight the faces of the children. But behind the fright, the curiosity inherent in children is also read. The girls peer into the dark forest thicket, trying to see and understand who or what might be hiding there and whether it is worth being afraid of it.

Anxiety and excitement emanates from the picture and even the falling tree trunk intensifies the anxious and unstable state of these little girl.

“Peasant Girls in the Forest” 1878

"Peasant Girls in the Forest" 1878
“Peasant Girls in the Forest” 1878

In this second painting of “Peasant girls in the Forest” as in the first three girls went to the forest for berries. They are dressed more simply and you can see that either raspberries or strawberries were collected, as one of the basket is already almost full.

As in the first paintings the little girls are frightened by a noise and clung to each other leaning their backs against an old powerful tree. But this painting is darker, more dramatic. The little girls seem to be more frightened, and seeking protection in the leaning tree.

In this painting, Korzukhin enhances the drama of the ongoing event by using light and shadow effects, and the forest thicket frightens with its darkness. 

The first canvas is more dynamic, brighter and picturesque while the second is darker and more dramatic.

I hope you enjoyed these paintings as much as I did, write which one was your favorite in the comments.

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