Russian school, XIXth century
Interior View of a Foundry
Inscribed in cyrillic lower left, Kuvinski factory, iron casting and dated lower right May 1880.
Pen and black ink, watercolour and gouache.
242 x 440 mm – 9,53 x 17,32 in.
The Industrial Revolution in Russia generated the need, as everywhere else, to mechanize the factories and to ensure transportation expansion, two fields of development that could not happen without the boom of the metal industry. To carry out railways all across the country, Odessa, South-West, Transcaucasian and Transcaspian railways, but also to provide cotton mills and sugar factories with machines, there had to transform foundries into large enterprises.
In this remarkable representation of a foundry, we can observe two large furnaces from where molten metal flows, guided by the workers towards the molds. The image is impressive thanks to its sense of light contrasts and of the foundry’s architecture, which it documents with great precision. It also describes a pre-revolutionary condition in which man is as simple a tool as others. It is only with the 1917 Revolution that the metal worker became the colossal hero of the Soviet era, painted by Alexandre Deineka and Piotr Williams, sculpted by Ivan Chadr and Mikhail Bakounine or musically depicted by Alexandre Mossolov (Iron Foundry, 1927).
Condition report – Slight oxidation of white gouache. Slightly rubbed. Good condition.