Konstantin Ivanovich Gorbatov (1876-1945) – a prominent representative of Russian post-impressionism, professor at the Academy of Arts, member of the A. Kuindzhi Society. Born in Stavropol of the Samara province.
The school of painter K. Gorbatov began to take place in the early 1890s in Samara with a local artist F.E. Burov. From 1896 to 1903 He lived in Riga, studied at the Polytechnic and continued his art education with D. Clark. Arriving in St. Petersburg in 1903, the young man first studied at the famous Stieglitz School of Painting, then at the Academy of Arts in the architectural department. A year later, he transferred to the painting department under the direction of A.A. Kiseleva and P.N. Dubovsky. Changing his specialization and devoting himself to painting, Konstantin Gorbatov immediately finds his own genre – a landscape that most closely matches his emotional and spiritual structure. Studying the peculiarities of national color, the quiet life of Russian nature, the artist drew inspiration from the work of the Wanderers. In turn, the work of K. Gorbatov can be divided into two main periods: Russian, from about 1905 to 1922, and foreign – from the time of his departure from Russia in 1922 until the death of the artist in Berlin liberated by Soviet troops on May 24, 1945.
After graduating from the Academy (1912), Konstantin Gorbatov traveled to Rome as a scholar of the Academy of Arts, then, at the invitation of M. Gorky, traveled to Capri. He traveled a lot in the south of Europe. A trip to Italy significantly enriched the arsenal of the artist’s paintings. The artist’s palette is freed from dark tones, his landscapes become more decorative and colorfully sonorous. The manner becomes more bold, which brings his painting closer to the work of “Russian Impressionists”. Returning to his homeland, K. Gorbatov turns to his favorite topics with renewed vigor. During this period, a number of paintings were written devoted to the life of Russian provincial cities, landscapes of the northwestern corners of Russia (“Fish Market in Pskov”, “Old Courtyard”, “Pskov”, “Rich Guests,” First Snow in the Laurel, “” Native corner “,” In Vologda “, etc.).
The artist perceived the revolutionary transformations in the country ambiguously. Konstantin Gorbatov left Russia at the age of 46 by the already established master (1922), his work is impossible to understand outside the traditions of Russian realistic art. But Europe, primarily Italy, became for the artist a place where he found an ideal aesthetic environment. Dress, brightness, cheerfulness – these are the words that characterize his Italian paintings. And they completely coincide with the definition given by K. Gorbatov himself, of art “as a holiday.”
Impressionistic landscape of K. Gorbatov “Hot day in Anacapri” is permeated with light. The painting belongs to the first foreign works of the artist (1926). Nature, organically combined with an architectural motif, remained the main theme of the master’s work. All the trepidation and charm of Anacapri – a small area, part of the island of Capri – expressively laid in large pasty strokes, was transferred by the master to a beautiful picturesque Italian courtyard. The master fills his work with bright and sunlight and at the same time immerses him in a deep cool shadow. This technique of contrast lighting was very often used by K. Gorbatov. He allowed the artist to place compositional accents and bring into the work a sense of air movement and sun glare, thereby giving the motive vitality and credibility. The plot of the picture: the blue sea, snow-white buildings, a cozy courtyard and local residents were quite popular in the “Italian” period of the work of Konstantin Gorbatov. This is a combination of the real and the ideal, a kind of “romantic realism”,
coincides with the artist’s own definition: “painting is beautiful when it conveys life not as it is, but as it could be.”
The picture of K. Gorbatov “Hot day in Anacapri” is dated 1926. This year was quite significant in the life of the master. In March 1926, Gorbatov successfully hosted an exhibition in Rome. The Italian press of that time praised the artist’s art. They wrote about him as “about a born artist, a powerful colorist, reviving contemporary art with his gift.” Describing the exhibition held in Rome in March 1926 in the Palazzo of Clement X, the Italian critic E. Penetta wrote: “Here is Russia: snow and dullness are small paintings. But next to our heart beats with joy because it meets what we expensive: Naples, Capri, Amalfi, Venice, Ravellu.Vine shoots, branches of oranges, terraces under the sun over our sea.The beauty of the landscape and the ray of sunshine are softened by the artist, who saw the true nature even when his hot passion led to external exaggerations. It causes our sympathy, effect the empathy is so intense that it gives the impression that the artist’s reality is our reality. ”
In 1926, the Gorbatovs moved to Berlin. In Germany, the artist organically entered the group of Russian emigrant painters there: L. Pasternak, V. Falileev, I. Myasoedov, S. Kolesnikov