Эту знаменитую картину Кустодиев задумал, лежа в больнице после второй операции. В данной работе, являющейся символом всего зрелого периода его творчества (художник создал на эту не отпускавшую его тему еще несколько произведений), изящно соединились принципы народного творчества и венецианской живописи эпохи Возрождения.

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In his Shrovetide of 1916 the provincial town is varicolored and joyful. The palette is based on clashing colors – red, blue, green and yellow. The town-scape is criss-crossed with hills and valleys; the bare trees on the sides of the scene act as stage wings, flanking the composition; and the light – green sky with its yellow and pink sunset gleams is given added depth with clouds and flocks of birds. There are no close views on the picture, but their absence is made up for by the unusual spatial arrangement on the horizontal canvas, in which the view from above enables the painter to bring out several scenes of different form and rhythm (sleigh-riding, the distant square with show-booths and merry-go-round, children with their toboggans, and girls sitting near an accordion player). The pivot of the picture is in the center: the flowered rug decorating the back of the sleigh, the crimson fur-lined blanket, the red cap-band of the officer in the sleigh, the driver’s blue coat and the scarlet crown of his fur cap – all these are flaming at the focal point of the composition.

The high horizon opens up the broad snow-covered landscape most effectively to the coloristic and rhythmic arrangement. The succulent colors in this winter festival are a new discovery for the painter, who finds in them a brightness and decorativeness which are not unreal. The colorful pattern makes the picture look like a folk print or the bright shawl of a Russian belle.