1894, Bezhetsk (Tver Province) - 1971, Leningrad

Weaving Shopfloor


  • tempera and oil on canvas. 68 х 98
  • Ж-8149

  • Received in 1966 from the artist, Leningrad

The industrial theme was addressed by many Soviet artists in the late 1920s. Artists were dispatched to factories to acquire «knowledge of life» and better depict it in their works. Alexander Samokhavalov painted Weaving Shopfloor after visiting the town of Ivanovo, a leading Soviet centre of weaving. Samokhvalov was particularly impressed by the «bright-white architectonics of the weaving shopfloor.» He later recalled: «Two or three young weavers walked calmly among the looms, like nannies ... as if expressing their approval of their rollicking rhythms and correcting possible problems with the same human affection.» Samokhvalov’s weavers are typical representatives of the period. Unlike the heroines of his other works, they are not heroicised. The artist’s task was almost entirely painterly. The picture is based on two perspective directions, with theforeground resolved like a proscenium. The «screens» of the looms pull the viewer’s eye into the depths of the shop floor, where it encounters a worker in a striped sports shirt walking towards it. Russian Museum: From Icons to the Modern Times. Palace Editions, St Petersburg, 2015. P. 347.

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