Mikhail Larionov's Still-Life with Crayfish is a result of the artist sintense engagement with Russian folk art traditions. In attempting to liberate Russian art from the influence of the West, Larionov discovered new formal languages by looking to his heritage and bringing into his paintings images derived from icons, lubki (popular prints) as well as painted shop signs and children sart. Although Larionov did not spearhead the Russian crafts revival, his participation became critical for its dissemination.
Still-Life with Crayfish exemplifies Larionov's insistence on russifying Western forms. The lessons of Czanne and the bold experiments of the Fauves figure prominently; however, the artist's conception of line, depth and color is a clear reference to lubki. The strident palette reflects Eastern influences, and the feast itself conveys an essentially Russian character. Larionov spassionate interest in creating new art forms inclined him to draw upon a diversity of sources. His admiration for the stability and timelessness of Russian peasant culture, life and art played a critical role in developing his oeuvre and allowed him to create a distinctive style independent of the West without wholly rejecting it.
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