Rey embankment in Basel in the rain - Alexander Nikolaevich Benois. Gouache on cardboard.
Aleksandr Nikolaevich Benoit is a great connoisseur and propagandist of art, a critic, a theatrical figure, did not have an art education, but he is a very gifted creative person and his watercolors and gouaches always attract attention with their themes and mood.
“Rey Embankment in Basel in the Rain” is one such work. Back in 1896, Alexandre Benois traveled to Switzerland, and he was fascinated by the autumn views of Basel, this ancient town located on the border of three countries: Germany, France and Switzerland. The city has many historical buildings and ancient monuments, and the Basel embankment and colorful landscapes fascinate the artist.
In 1902, while living in Paris, he paints the embankment from memory, conveying his memories and images.
On the far bank of the Rhine River, houses are piling up, new and old, and in the center is a well-preserved medieval building - Basel Cathedral.
It would have pleased the look of the old, serene Swiss town, if it had not been disturbed by the elements of nature. Clouds of autumn would hang in the sky, but a strong wind does not allow them to stand still and they rush into the distance. The water surface frowns and boils in the whipping rain. The branches of trees beat and bend from the wind, the last leaves are torn off and carried away into the unknown. In the foreground, on the sidewalk glistening from puddles, the two combined elements - wind and water - are driving lonely belated passers-by. And, unlikely, umbrellas will help them, there is no salvation from the energetic rainfalls.
Against the background of houses and a cold river, these people look so homeless, bent over and in a hurry to hide from the weather. The main tones of late autumn - gray, brown - give the picture an additional note of sadness and sadness.
Benoit performs this work in a manner typical of the beginning of the 20th century, in the style of post-impressionism. The author focuses on greater expressiveness and visibility for the viewer. And, perhaps, he achieved his goal.