Nature of Russia and Pushkin

Letters about the good and the beautiful / D. Likhachev. - M .: Alpina Publisher, 2017.

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Claude Lorrain? And what have you got, ask, Russian character and Russian nature?

Suffer a little - and all the threads will converge again.

We primitively imagine the history of landscape art: a regular park, a landscape park; the second type of park abruptly replaces the first somewhere in the seventies of the 18th century in connection with the ideas of Rousseau, and in pre-Petrine Russia there were supposedly only utilitarian gardens: they grew fruits, vegetables and berries. That's all! In fact, the history of landscape art is much more complicated.

In the “Word of the destruction of the Russian land” of the XIII century, among the most significant beauties with which Russia was wonderfully surprised, monastery gardens are also mentioned. Monastic gardens in Russia were basically the same as in the West. They were located inside the monastery fence and represented the earthly paradise, and the monastery fence - paradise fence. In the Garden of Eden there should have been paradise trees - apples or grape vines (at different times the breed of the “paradise tree of the knowledge of good and evil” was understood differently), everything had to be perfect for the eyes, for hearing (birds singing, murmur water, echo), for the smell, (smells of flowers and fragrant herbs), for taste (rare fruits). They had to have an abundance of everything and a great variety, symbolizing the diversity and wealth of the world. Gardens had their semantics, their meaning. Outside the monasteries, sacred groves existed, partially preserved from pagan times, but consecrated and “Christianized” by some phenomenon in them icons or other church miracles.

We have very little information about the Russian gardens until the XVII century, but one thing is clear - that the “paradise gardens” were not only in monasteries, but also in princely country villages. There were gardens in the Kremlin and the townspeople - for all the cramped urban development. The numerous materials about Russian gardens of the 17th century, which were published in the 19th century, but historian I. Zabelin failed to comprehend art historically, clearly indicate that the Dutch Baroque style entered gardening in Moscow from the middle of the 17th century.

Gardens in the Moscow Kremlin were made at different levels, terraces, as required by the Dutch taste, fenced with walls, decorated with gazebos and terems. In the gardens, ponds were arranged in giant lead baths, also at different levels. Fun flotillas floated in ponds, rare plants (in particular, Astrakhan grapes) were bred in boxes, nightingales and quails sang in giant silk cages (the latter were valued on a par with nightingales), fragrant herbs and flowers grew there, in particular, favorite Dutch tulips (price on which bulbs especially increased in the middle of the 17th century), they tried to keep parrots, etc., etc.

The baroque gardens of Moscow differed from the Renaissance in their ironic character. They, like the Dutch gardens, sought to furnish with picturesque paintings with deceptive perspective views (tromp l'oeil), places for solitude, etc.

All this later, Peter began to arrange in St. Petersburg. Unless sculptures were added to the gardens of Peter the Great, which in Moscow were feared for “ideological” reasons: they were mistaken for idols. Yes, there are more Hermitages - of different types and different purposes.

The same ironic gardens with a rococo slope began to be built in Tsarskoe Selo. A Dutch garden was laid out in front of the garden facade of the Catherine Palace, and this garden was preserved in Holland in the beginning of the 20th century. It was not only the name of the garden, but also the definition of its type. It was a garden of solitude and diversity, a garden of the Dutch Baroque, and then Rococo with his penchant for cheerful joke and solitude, but not philosophical, but love. Soon the Dutch garden, the Rococo garden, was surrounded by an extensive pre-romantic park, in which the “garden ideology” regained seriousness, where a large proportion belonged to the memories — heroic, historical and purely personal, where it received its right to exist (sensibility of gardens) and Baroque expelled from gardens was rehabilitated or serious meditativeness (tendency to reflections) parodied in them.

If we turn from this shortest excursion to the region of Russian landscape art to Pushkin’s lyceum lyricism, we will find in it the entire semantics of rococo gardens and the period of preromanticism. Pushkin, in his lyceum poems, cultivates the theme of his “ironic monasticism” (“Know, Natalya! —I am a monk!”), Garden solitude — in love and with his comrades. Lyceum for Pushkin was a kind of monastery, and his room - cell. It is a little bit serious and a bit tinged with irony. Pushkin himself in his lyceum poems acts as a violator of the monastic rule (feasts and amorous joys). These topics are a tribute to Rococo. But there is also a tribute to pre-romantic parks - his famous poems “Memories in Tsarskoe Selo”, where “memories” are monuments to Russian victories and where there are Ossian motifs (rocks, mosses, “gray ramparts”, which are actually on the Great Lake in Tsarskoe and did not happen).

The discovery of Russian nature occurred at Pushkin in Mikhailovsky. Mikhaylovskoye and Trigorskoye are the places where Pushkin discovered the Russian simple landscape. That is why Mikhailovsky and Trigorskoye are holy for every Russian person.

The nature of the Pushkin Mountains serves as a commentary to many of Pushkin's poems, to individual chapters of “Eugene Onegin”, consecrated by Pushkin’s meetings here - with his friends, acquaintances, with his Arina Rodionovna, with the peasants. Memories of Pushkin live here in every corner. Pushkin and the nature of these places in amicable unity created here a new poetry, a new attitude to the world, to man. We must preserve the nature of Mikhailovsky and Trigorsky with all the trees, forests, lakes and the river Soroti with special attention, for here, I repeat, the poetic discovery of Russian nature was accomplished.

Pushkin, in his poetic attitude to nature, has gone from a Dutch garden in the rococo style and Catherine’s Park in the style of pre-Romanticism to the purely Russian landscape of Mikhailovsky and Trigorsky, not surrounded by any garden walls and lived in Russian, well-groomed, "favored" by Pskov since the time of Princess Olga , or even earlier, that is, for a whole thousand years. And it is not by chance that it was in the setting of this Russian “historical” nature (and history is the main component of Russian nature) that Pushkin’s historical works were born — and above all, Boris Godunov.

I want to give one big and historically extensive analogy. More or less extensive regular gardens have always existed near the palace. The architecture was associated with nature through the architectural part of the garden. So it was in the days when the fashion came to the romantic landscape gardens. So it was with Paul and in the nobility estates of the XIX century, in particular, and in the famous Moscow region. The farther from the palace, the more natural nature. Even in the Renaissance in Italy, outside the Renaissance architectural gardens, there was a natural part of the owner's possessions for walks - the nature of the Roman Campagna. The longer the man’s routes became for festivities, the farther he went from his house, the more the nature of his country opened up for him, the wider and closer to the house - the natural, landscape part of its parks. Pushkin discovered nature first in Tsarskoye Selo parks near the palace and Lyceum, but then he went beyond the limits of "well-groomed nature." From the regular Lyceum garden he moved to his park part, and then to the Russian village. Such is the landscape route of Pushkin's poetry. From garden to park and from park to village Russian nature. Accordingly, their national vision of nature and social grew. He saw that nature is not only beautiful, but also not idyllic at all.

The poem "The Village" (1819) is clearly divided into two parts.

In the first, Pushkin describes the Russian nature of Mikhailovsky in the spirit of his lyceum poems, emphasizing rest, solitude, “free idleness, reflection girlfriend,” and in the second, he is horrified by the social injustice that reigns here “in stately solitude”:

But a terrible thought here darkens the soul:
Among the flowering fields and mountains
Friend of mankind sadly notices
Everywhere ignorance is a terrible shame.
Seeing no tears, not hearing a moan,
To the destruction of people chosen by fate,
Here the wildness is wild, without feeling, without law,
Assigned itself to a violent vine
And work, and property, and the time of the farmer ...

Pushkin, walking on the nature of Russia, gradually discovered the Russian reality for himself.

It is impossible to change anything in the Mikhailovsky and Trigorsky, and indeed in the Pushkin places of the former Pskov province (the new word “Pskovshchina” does not go to these places at all), just as in every dear to our heart memorable subject. Even the precious setting here is no good, since Pushkin’s places are only the center of that vast part of Russian nature, which we call Russia.

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Watch the video: A. S. Pushkin Museum Preserve (April 2020).