Grigory Ivanovich Gurkin, Lake Karakol

In 1909, Gurkin painted Lake Karakol, in the high mountains, for the first time. The lake was formed during the ice age in the lapiaz crevasses of the Altai Mountains (in the native language, Karakol means “black water”). The pure and clear water of the lake looks black because it is surrounded by mountains and taiga. The dark mountains, covered in forest and rock, open onto the calm waters of the lake, after the ice has melted, revealing a dark turquoise, almost black, surface. Soft light pierces through the clouds and fog, and slides onto the smooth surface of the lake. Isolated blocks of ice can be seen on the shore. The artist’s attentiveness to nature, and the freedom of plein air painting, are exemplified in this canvas; the refined technique of this masterful work makes it much more than a study.
Canadian Heritage Information Network
State Art Museum of Altayskiy Region

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