Bathing the golden calf

     A direct quote from the famous Petrov-Vodkin`s work which was written precisely a hundred years before appearance of «Bathing the golden calf» is using in this work. It goes without saying that the red hose who felt the influense of Novgorodian icons is a deeply symbolic character has been substituted for the quite bodily golden calf but endowed with his own new difficult symbolism. On the one hand this is a habitual the gospel symbol of idolatry, priority of material benefits under spiritual blessings but at the same time it has additional value which has been set by the author – huge uncontrollable bull here became a symbol of Russia. Two meanings flow together. The Kremlin-Soviet star got stuck in the calf`s horn not by chance, like a golden disk between biblical idol`s horns, both fantasy and symbol of power. Horseman with down rein is riding this bull. Disregarding his physical and physiological signs let`s consider his posture: relaxed and it seems laid-back. What does this slackness mean in this case – is it a sign of carelessness or confidence? There is an action in progress embodied: what the calf will do the next moment, plunge into stormy waters carrying along the rider or take a bath and drink a water dutifully? Though the rein is down but the rider doesn’t let it out of the hands, may be he has tamed the animal already and that`s why he is controlling confidently and calmly.

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DAVID BAGDASARYAN 2018