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Dawn

every new dawn is a daily miracle

The dawn pushes away the darkness of the night almost performing a natural miracle. In the oil on canvas called “Dawn” (100x75 cm) the Ukrainian artist Svyatoslav Ryabkin conveys the beauty of a peaceful rural landscape enriched with the symbols of the Christian religion.

The small fisherman, also small in front of nature, embodies the artist’s features. The patience during the waiting for a fish to bite on the hook and the solitude of his thoughts leak out brushstrokes of dense colour. In his self-portrait (entitled “Self-portrait”) he wore a fishing hat. Painting and fishing are his greatest passions, as is evident in another oil on canvas called “Brushes and floats”.

Passions improve our life. They amuse us and encourage us to get involved, even if we have to get up early in the morning, like real fishermen, or to go to bed late in the evening. This muddy backdrop lake reminds me of the great Kytai lake, populated by water snakes and tiny gobies. Local fishermen use a primitive but effective technique to catch these fish. They use a special homemade yellow flour. In some places the lake has retreated by up to two hundred meters. And the banks, once overlooking the water, have become stony and are covered with great vegetation. This problem is common to many lakes and ponds in southern Ukraine where there is also the problem of pollution.

In "Dawn" both the fisherman and the surrounding environment seem static but it is only appearance: everything is changing moment by moment. The light yellow half sun vibrates in the bright pink of the blue sky that is decorated by few clouds here and there. You could see a lot of thin lines vertically in the field and horizontally in the lake, they are created with the tip of the handle of the artist's brush, characteristic feature of his painting. Dear Readers, you have to look at this big picture live to fall in love with this enchanting view!

The artist used full of colour brushstrokes to render the rich foliage of the trees. The strokes are decisive and the similar shades create soft contrasts to give depth to the subjects. The foliage of trees look like soft green clews that separate the lake from the tall wheat field. It reaches the horizon line where you find an Orthodox church on the right and few houses on the left.

What meaning did the artist want to attribute to these small houses? Although they were far away, the fisherman feels at home in this land that welcomes him gently. In the quiet of the morning he feels well and safe. Also the vision of the angel watching over man is more impactful. The artist Ryabkin passionately combines metaphysical elements in earthly contexts. His deep religious faith is expressed with angels and churches, often and willingly present in his works. The artist talks about a miracle presenting this picture “Dawn”. So, the true miracle is being able to "see" the angels who are good people around us, the useful actions to save the world, the choices that enjoy and satisfied us.

In 2018 Ryabkin painted also the oil on canvas “Sunset” to create the couple of pictures about the sunrise and the sunset. They have been exhibited together in the Villa Simion Gallery in Spinea (near Venice) on the occasion of the exhibition called "A casa dell’artista".
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by Elena Sechet