1933. Oil, canvas. 70x66.
Russian Museum. St. Petersburg.
In the early thirties Malevich was put into prison though he had committed no crime and there was no evidence against him. This imprisonment did not break his spirit and in the self-portrait Malevich represented himself as a man of great dignity and indomitableness
1912. Oil, canvas. 72x75.
Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam.
Malevich must have regarded peasants as possessing great inner strength and stamina; probably that is why human figures in his painting look as though made of metal.
Peasants against Yellow-Blue Background.
1929-1930. Oil, canvas.
Russian Museum. St. Petersburg.
Massive repressions launched by Stalin, the Soviet dictator, against Ukrainian peasantry were taken by Malevich as a personal tragedy. In his paintings of the late period one does not see hefty figures any more; peasants in them look like puppets; the colours remind one of the Ukrainian national flag.
Peasant Women in Church.
1911. Oil, canvas. 75x98
Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam.
Malevich must have been impressed
by the depth of religious feelings
of peasants whose faces in the
picture resemble somewhat
those in the icons.
Marfa and Ivanko.
Taking a Crop in. 1928-1929.
Oil, canvas. 82x62.
Russian Museum. St. Petersburg.
After his return to Ukraine Malevich began painting peasants again, as in earlier years, and made them look hefty; he used bright colours which in his opinion suited best the depiction of the «brightly-coloured people» as he called Ukrainians.
A Peasant’s Head.
1928. Oil, wooden board. 72x54.
Russian Museum. St. Petersburg.
Malevich was glad to be back in Ukraine
from Leningrad (now St. Petersburg)
where he was constantly under attack
from art critics and authorities.
Peasant between a Cross
and a Sword.
1932-1933. Oil, canvas.
George Pompidou Art Centre, Paris.
.A peasant, his hands and
feet black, as though badly scorched,
is running through deserted land;
at the horizon loom a cross and
a sword covered with blood.
The painting echoed the horrors of
the famine that struck
Ukraine in 1932-1933 when
millions of peasants died in
this man-made disaster.
Black Cross on Red Oval.
1920s. Stedelejk Museum,
Malevich was one of the pioneers
of geometric abstract art. In this
painting he might have been inspired
by the Pysanka, painted Easter egg;
the Egg could be treated as a symbol
of life,and the Cross as a symbol
of death and resurrection