Russian Artworks Painting 20th Century Avant-Garde Analytical Art Oxen (Scene from the Life of Savages)

Oxen (Scene from the Life of Savages)

Artist: Pavel Filonov
Date: 1918
Media: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 62.5 x 80 cm
Ownership: Russian Museum, St Petersburg
Property of the artist’s sister, Yevdokia Glebova, Leningrad (until 1970)
Oxen (Scene from the Life of Savages)


Pavel Filonov’s reflections on the malevolent influence of the city on the life of human beings were always present in his art. They were sometimes expressed in such metaphorical compositions as this particular painting, which depicts the anthropomorphic characters encountered in so many of the artist’s works.

Although Pavel Filonov’s style and palette evolved over time, he continued to express his ideas in the language of parables. While Oxen (Scene from the Life of Savages) appears to be devoid of action, the human and the savage merge to create an image reflecting the horrors of the Russian Civil War raging in 1918.

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