1838, oil on cardboard, State Lermontov Museum-Reserve Tarkhany.
The great Russian poet M. Yu. Lermontov possessed not only a poetic gift – his artistic heritage is extremely rich. It is known that the poet was serious about painting, taking lessons, making copies of famous paintings. So far, only part of the works has been preserved – small watercolors, sketches on the margins of books, sketches.
One of the favorite themes of Lermontov’s artistic creativity is the Caucasus. The poet has more than once confessed his love for him (“How I loved my stately Caucasus…”).
In 1838, while serving in the Grodno Hussars, the poet paints a picture, Memoirs on the Caucasus.
Before the viewer – the evening landscape. The last rays of the setting sun illuminate the mountain ridge in the distance, the shadows become longer, the sky gradually darkens. Clouds float so low that a little more – and you can touch them.
In the foreground are figures of two highland horsemen. One is in the Circassian, white hat, the other is dressed in a long hood. Both, like true warriors, are armed. In the long road, travelers are busy talking. The conversation is probably quite emotional – the temperamental rider on the left almost turned to his interlocutor. Another participant in the dialogue is more calm: he continues to move without changing his posture. Travelers look organically against the background of the surrounding landscape, in their overall color almost merging with a quiet mountain valley.
However, the main characters of Lermontov miniatures are not people, but the surrounding nature. The author did not get tired to admire the Caucasus, he missed the majestic mountain tops, swift and cold rivers, the romantic air of these places.
The work fully reflects the romantic perception of the surrounding nature, delight and reverence for its beauty and inviolability.