Women Harvesting
Women Harvesting

Ivanov, Victor Ivanovich

1924 -

Women Harvesting

Oil on board

53.7 x 74cm


Signed lower right



Collection of the artist


Exhibited in a private exhibition, 'Victor Ivanov', Moscow, 2009, illustrated on cover of catalogue, foreword by Valentin Sidorov, Chairman of the Moscow Academy of Arts.


Certificate from the artist


Victor Ivanov painting 1

Victor Ivanov with students c 1950's

Women Harvesting is a version of Victor Ivanov's most famous painting which is considered a masterpiece of the Moscow post war 'Severe style' and hangs in the Tretyakov gallery.  


Victor Ivanov second from right

The artist said that he painted our version around 1965 when he painted the subject several times whilst he finalised his plans for the Treyakov version. The painting is a tighly controlled exercise in colour and form.  Ivanov eliminates all non essential detail such as the features in the women's faces.  The composition is carefully built up in triangles running through the women and along their rakes.  The painting is pieced together in thick blocks of colour that are cleverly balanced to create a harmonious whole.  Ivanov acknowledges his debt to Malevich and Goncharova and yet the painting is clearly of its time and original.

Victor Ivanovich Ivanov was one of the founders of the "Severe style” post war movement in Russian painting along with Geli Korzhev and Petr Ossovsky. The Ryazan area where his mother was born, and where the Victor Ivanov museum is now to be found attached to the Ryazan State Museum, became the main inspiration of his art and the object of a spiritual attachment. There he sought inspiration, and all of his most powerful images were born there. In the village, all human life was there from the first day till the last.

The artist saw in this place the truest merging between man and nature, redemption of a kind, and the preparation for the peace of eternity. He saw the monumental and yet romantic greatness of country work and life. Simple village objects in Ivanov's pictures become meaningful symbols of rural life, measured and at the same time somehow eternal. All this attains a sense of the highest solemnity and creates an atmosphere of deep significance, an intense emotional envelope. “Our art was magnificent, we created works which it seemed to us, did not distort reality in any way,” - Victor Ivanovich recalls. – “This was the Truth of our time and this Truth has always been most important for my art. I believe in realism. It gives us strength, speaks of beauty both physical and moral. Realism is the highest art; history shows nothing to equal it.”

Women harvesting is a fine example of Victor Ivanov's habit of drawing his subject matter from the local people working in the fields near Ryazan.  Such paintings have an eternal quality where time is suspended.  The colours are harmonious and dense and the painting has a peaceful air.  


Two of the models used in Women Harvesting

Instantly recognizable as a work by Ivanov such paintings are considered works by one of Russia’s greatest post war artists who was given all Russia’s greatest artistic awards such as becoming an Academician in 1988 and a ‘Peoples’ Artist of the USSR in 1976.  Ivanov’s self portrait has been accepted by the Uffizi picture gallery in Florence and hangs in their famous collection of self-portraits on show in the Pitti palace.  Ivanov has had countless exhibitions in Russia, Ukraine and Cuba.   As one of Russia’s leading artists he was allowed to travel outside of the USSR and between 1959 and 1962 he visited Egypt, Syria, Italy, Cuba and Mexico.

Ivanov has stated: “I agree with the famous claim by Levitan that it is possible to be a true landscape painter only in Russia! Indeed the Russian landscape is spiritual and it conveys what is truly important - ideas and feelings”. 





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