Evening in the Ukraine

Artist: Arkhip Kuinji
Date: 1878–1901
Media: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 81 x 163 cm
Ownership: Russian Museum, St Petersburg
Evening in the Ukraine


This is one of Arkhip Kuinji’s most famous paintings, well-known to Russian viewers and often included in publications on the history of Russian art in the second half of the nineteenth century. The artist first exhibited Evening in the Ukraine in 1878, then made later finishing touches to the canvas in 1901.

This landscape is a typical work by a master who preferred bright and vivid interpretations of nature, generalised forms, heightened tones and decorative effects. As Arkhip Kuinji’s contemporaries correctly observed, his own paints were frequently far more intense than the true colours of nature.

This image of an unremarkable Ukrainian village at sunset is like a fairytale world of harmony and tranquillity. The sharp contrast between the crimson and turquoise pigments intensifies the effect of pageantry. The objects assume a whole new scale in this festival of colour and light, where time itself seems to slow down.

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