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Volkov Efim Efimovich called the poet of fogs and Russian autumn. A talented landscape painter, he left a wonderful collection of charm and light sadness paintings of nature.
The son of a St. Petersburg paramedic, he paid tribute to the public service of a clerical adviser in the Ministry of Justice. And only after retiring, he allowed himself to enter a drawing school, having completed a four-year course of study in a year, became a free student of the Academy of Arts. The Eighth Traveling Exhibition of 1880 presented Volkov’s painting “Autumn”, marked by the best among landscape painting.
The marshes of the environs of St. Petersburg inspired the artist to work. Before us is early northern autumn, with a heavy, cloudy sky, a gusty, cold wind, damp and piercing, like pain. In the foreground is a small, grassy, swampy rivulet, which ford the cows of a nearby village. The ford is small, and the verdant grass is wounded by the hooves of animals. A winding, fading channel glistens gloomily under the cold, steel sky, sometimes reflecting its emptiness on its surface.
The banks of the river, overgrown with a small shrub, a gentle slope descending to the water, are getting closer. The left bank seems a little higher due to the hill rising from the river, where in places you can see tall, old trees, with a few chaotic strokes that extend into the low sky. The bluish distance does not hide in itself neither secrets nor riddles, it is also dull and monotonous. Leaving to the right, the river bed will repeat its bends many times, which are not much distinguishable among themselves.
And although some trees with dirty red spots try to add a little color to the general pastel tone. But they do not make the picture happier, rather, on the contrary, somehow the golden autumn somehow does not work out. There is not a single living soul in the picture, but the mood of poverty, despondency and decline literally reads in every stroke.