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Altman, a Soviet avant-garde artist, of those that no canons recognized, used a wild mix of genres, for the sake of the goal - to convey mood, feelings, events - neglected everything else.
“Anna Akhmatova” of his brush, despite the fact that it was recognized by all the most unpleasant of her portraits, meanwhile, found an unmistakable recognition among both relatives and friends. Akhmatova’s son writes that although she much more likes another portrait of her mother, where she looks more tender and lyrical, and there is no trace of cubism, the portrait of Altman better conveys what she was in those years.
The portrait has a lot of sharp corners, broken perspective. Akhmatova sits in a chair, cross-legged, sticks out a sharp knee, navy blue dress comes down with stiff folds to her shoes, her hands are folded on her stomach, a yellow shawl falls from her elbows. Background - extremely generalized, some sharp edges, paradoxically reminiscent of flowers, gray floor, wooden bench underfoot. Throughout the pose, in the manner of writing, a tough, implacable woman looms with a burning flame inside.
All of it sticks out with sharp corners - not because Cubism commands it (Altman's other works are not so angular) - but because this is its essence. Forever repressed, never published, having lost two husbands, Akhmatova is ready to stab with sharp corners, repelling any attack, snarling at any enemy.
However, if in her pose one feels wariness, almost hostility, the person completely breaks this feeling. Akhmatova looks a little to the side, and on her lips is a smile, oddly tender for such an angular, austere face. It was as if a carefully guarded flame had peeked out from within, as if the sun had peered through the clouds, as if something cherished, guarded, it seemed possible to appear for an instant, and this instant was instantly masterfully caught and transferred to paper.
Composition By Picture Popkov Autumn Rains