The theme of a thunderstorm, pre-thunderstorm in Russian painting is represented quite widely. E. Makovsky has, for example, “Children Running from a Thunderstorm,” A.K. Savrasov, I.I. Shishkin, S.V. Sukhovo-Kobylin also painted a few paintings with a thunderstorm, they also described a thunderstorm, the pre-storm tension of nature in anticipation of a formidable phenomena.
So Alexander Makovsky created the picture “Before the Thunderstorm”. The picture is amazing in its depth of space, and at the same time, full of details, nature, meaning. It seems to be a typical landscape for a Russian hinterland, a settlement. But how much is said by this landscape!
On the right side of the picture are three village houses - low wooden log houses that almost drowned in tall grass. Behind one of the houses are two trees. Only their crowns are visible, golden. Combined with green grass in the foreground create an August landscape.
In the center of the picture, in the depths - the village church, written clearly, with details, with love. The top of the bell tower is lit by the sun. And although the church is in the background, it immediately attracts attention. Everything on this canvas is around her.
And if you look even deeper into the landscape, then right behind the church in the distance you can see the pre-forest: a green massif with some crowns of trees starting to turn yellow. From the viewer's side, their foliage is still illuminated by the slightly setting rays of the sun, and from the reverse, the branches of the trees are already waving the clouds with their foliage. Thunder rumbles over them. And a solid wall of water stubbornly moves forward - towards the viewer.
Cows graze peacefully in the foreground in a meadow. It is as if they do not feel the approach of the elements. One even stands in a puddle, but chews grass without raising its head.
Two three paintings are occupied by heavy, dark lead clouds turning into silver-gray thick clouds. And all this continuous mass of cloud clouds hangs over the forest, the church, the village log cabins, over the meadow, over the cows. Nature seemed to freeze, not breathing, in anticipation of the elements.
All the more contrast, sharp, luminous - between the church bell tower lit by the setting sun, the upper parts of the roofs of houses and the impending mass of heavy clouds.
Ostroukhov Golden Autumn