This work depicts a scene by the well in a Russian village. A woman pours a bucket of water on a shirtless man, who is washing himself. The other woman stands behind and lifts another bucket from the well. A wooden trough and the small pools of water in the muddy ground reflect a clear blue sky. The canvas is painted in vibrant colours, with deep bluish shadows, highlighting the summer light. The thick, impressionistic brushstrokes reinforce the illusion of movement and spontaneity. The canvas is a perfect example of the Tkachev brothers' famous portrayals of rural life and their style recalls the work of a number of the Post-Impressionist artists, in particular Camille Pissarro.
81 × 100 cm; 31¾ × 39¼ in.
Sergey (born 1922) and Alexey (born 1925) are famous Russian artists, both are full members of the Academy of Arts of the USSR, the People's Artists of the USSR, laureates of the Repin State Prize and the State Prize of the USSR. The brothers were born in a village in the Bryansk region. During the war, Sergey served in the army, while Alexey was working at a defence factory in the Urals. After the war, both Alexey and Sergey graduated from the famed Surikov Institute, where they studied under the outstanding artist S.V. Gerasimov. Since 1950, the brothers have worked together as one artist on the same canvases, creating some remarkable masterpieces. They have also worked independently, each of them developing their own individual styles. The Tkachev brothers' works are owned by the State Tretykov Gallery, the State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg, the Tkachev Brothers Museum in Bryansk and other museums and private galleries. Their paintings have been exhibited at the Smithsonian International Gallery in Washington, D.C, and the Guggenheim Museum in New York City.
Throughout their career the Tkachev brothers documented village life in all its variety and simplicity. They enthusiastically recorded activities from ploughing and haymaking to harvesting and fishing, and observed lives of their neighbour villagers from birth and childhood to marriage and raising children. Russian countrywomen, whom the artists admired for their natural beauty, strength, and agility, occupied a central role in the Tkachevs' works.
"Our paintings tell our life stories. The subjects are not fantasies, they all spring from real people, real events, and from stories told to us by our elders. Part of our souls are in each one".