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The decorative, stylised quality of this work reflects Goncharova’s interest in the folk arts and religious icons of her native Russia. While contemporaries were looking to so-called ‘primitive’ art beyond Europe, Goncharova celebrated Russia’s indigenous culture. She explained: ‘If I extol the art of my country, then it is because I think that it ... should occupy a more honourable place than it has done hitherto.’ This work is typical of her depictions of peasant life and was made around the time of her stay on a family estate in rural Russia.

March 2005