Crimea. Sts. Cosma and Damian's Monastery
Information about author
The work was brought from a trip to the Crimea in 1900 where Jan Ciaglinski created numerous plein air sketches. Being fascinated by the sonnets by Adam Mickiewicz, the artist called his works "Crimean Sonnets". As was common in the early twentieth century, the artist sought inspiration in traveling to exotic countries. Since Jan Ciaglinski lived mainly in St. Petersburg, a city characterized by a monochromatic landscape and little light, it becomes obvious why the artist travelled to sunny climes. Ciaglinski explored many areas. He traveled across Italy and the Caucasus, visited Constantinople, Spain, Morocco, Palestine, Egypt, and Greece. His most important travels included trips to India in 1907, Spain in 1908, the Sahara in 1909, Tunisia in 1911, and Turkmenistan in 1912. While traveling, the artist painted hundreds of works, about which he wrote in his memoirs: "… rich, in terms of colorful material", "I bathed in paints", and "I was looking for shades". An artist with an academic education, endowed by nature with an extraordinary sense of color, aimed to search for the play of colors, was interested in issues of color and light, and their perception at night. He painted quickly with bold and confident strokes, conveying to the viewer, on the one hand, the melancholy mood of the gloomy landscape, and on the other hand, the explosive colors of exotic landscapes from distant lands. The artist's later works are distinguished by a free, bold, and energetic style of painting with a clear, formative stroke, with a neutral, careless, chaotic, and as if hastily drawn background. The color palette is restrained, yet at the same time, it is strong and impressive. "This concept of mine – rendering nature by means of spots – may become clear only in fifty years," predicted the master.