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the kiss of true love

Svyatoslav Ryabkin’s “Kiss“ (80x60 cm) is an oil on canvas unique for its originality. The artist wanted to paint a passionate kiss under the hot sun. It, high in the leaden sky, lights the whole landscape.

The observer's attention is struck by two lovers‘ dark skin, far away from Ukrainian‘s typical somatic features. So the artist becomes the spokesperson of a universal message of love.

The woman, typically blonde and with graceful sinuous shapes, sits on the mint green grass that the artist has made with great brushstrokes. Instead in the rest of the canvas the colour is spread in a more spatulated way.

But here the beloved arrives flying with an orange flower in his hand to pay homage to woman‘s beauty. Usually the artist, called Slava by his friends, makes fun of the male figure, often depicting it as grotesque, for example also in another oil on canvas called “Dream“ (2009). On the other hand, in the painting "Kiss" the man is proportionated to the female figure and the result is a romantic and fantastic subject.

Love, that makes us fly feeling our soul light, is the purest feeling we can feel and these lovers are privileged for it. Looking at them conveys a great sense of carefree and this painting would look perfect in any room in our house. In this regard (in a different domestic context), "Kiss" remembers Marc Chagall’s oil on canvas “Birthday“ (1915), nowadays preserved in the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In both paintings the women are honored with flowers by their beloved.

In "Kiss" light colours predominate and on background the earth and the sky blend without strong chromatic detachments. However, look how the orange of the petals of the flower stands out! It and the golden crosses of the Orthodox churches on the horizon, among some stylized trees, are the bright colour points. Therefore it seems that the feeling of love inspired by religion is concretized in the flower, a common object. Dear Readers, do you know that the long kisses between spouses are still alive in the millenary traditions of weddings?

The Ukraine culture and history are very deep. "Kiss" was painted in 2017 and now it is exhibited in the Osteria Per.Gola in Martellago (a town near Venice in Italy).
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by Elena Sechet

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