ART RUSSE has purchased "Golden Autumn" (1963), a rare canvas by the renowned Soviet artist Aleksei Gritsai. This painting is a great example of Gritsai's famous landscapes that captured his deep appreciation of Russia's nature.

The painting depicts a dead straight road stretching through the desolate Russian countryside, far into the horizon. The composition is dominated by geometric shapes: the triangles of the main road and the hard shoulder, the green square of the grass, and the vibrant rectangle of the sky, intersected by the bright golden shape of the birch woods. The road is empty, apart from a lonely red bus which moves on the far side. The painting evokes the sense of the immense space in the largest country in the world, while also hinting at the melancholy air of early autumn.

Such simple landscapes became Gritsai's favourite subject. His earlier award-winning paintings, including "At Zhiguli: a Stormy Day" (1948-50), which made him famous for a particular, meticulous type of landscape reminiscent of old Russian masters such as Viktor Vasnetsov and Vasily Meshkov. After 1954, he focused on working on location, creating more spontaneous and less meticulously-painted canvases. He continued with this passion for the rest of his life.

ALEKSEI GRITSAI (1914 - 1998) was a famous Soviet and Russian artist, best known for his landscapes. Born in St Petersburg, he took his first art lessons from the masters of the old Imperial Academy and in 1932 he enrolled in the Leningrad Institute of Art, Architecture, and Sculpture. Immediately after graduation, he was drafted into the military and joined the front. After the war, he returned to art, with a focus on depicting landscapes. He received numerous awards, including two Stalin Prizes in 1951 and 1952, a bronze medal at the World's Fair in Brussels in 1958, and two State Prizes in 1973 and 1978.

Aleksei Gritsai - Art Russe

Golden Autumn (1963). Aleksei Gritsai. Oil canvas. 19.5" x 26.5".