Ilya Mashkov. 1881 - 1944. Russia .
Begonias . 1911
Oil on Canvas . 97 * 116 cm.
The rejection of the official academic art
and the protest against "old painting" in general found vivid expression in the
creations of the "Jack of Diamonds" group. Those who supported that movement
came up with a wholly new understanding of the aims of the still life. Above all they
strove to bring out the colour, structure and shape of an object without falling into
naturalism, to convey the essence of a thing. Often such an analytical perception of the
subject depicted led to purely formalist experiments, but in the works of the best
artists, a decorative approach did not impair the realistic persuasiveness of the
depiction. Ilya Mashkov's still life "Begonias" is testimony to the
artist's intensive search after an expressive idiom, to his love of working from life with
its variety of forms and colours and a striving to reveal the essence of things.