1878, Kiev - 1935, Leningrad

Relaxing (Society in Top Hats)


In this painting from 1908, titled Rest, or Society in Top Hats, Malevich, who was exploring a new direction in his life and career, depicts an earthly paradise. The scene comprises a pictorial symphony filled with pleasant, optimistic and joyful images; the artist has taken a delight in the aesthetic qualities of the composition, and at first glance, the scene is nothing less than idyllic. Intriguingly, this painting also highlights the artist’s fondness for parody, as it was clearly produced in response to the famous painting by Édouard Manet. However, in this nod to Manet’s celebrated theme, Malevich has included the figure of a urinating man. This addition gives the painting a certain humorous quality, which not only causes the observer to do a double-take, but also entirely undermines the initial impression of an idyllic scene. Perhaps we can attribute this painting to a joke on the part of the young artistic genius?

«Виртуальный Русский музей» в социальных сетях: