Spring is in the air: 10 paintings and quotes from Russians about the best time of year

This is the most anticipated season of the year, when Russians are already extremely tired of the long winter and any thaw (even from -10°C to -2°C) can make them happy! Let’s see how prominent Russian artists and writers have depicted spring.
Spring. High Water, 1897, Isaac Levitan

1. From the neighbouring hills, the snow
Driven by the springtime sun,
Flows in turbid streams that run
Down to the flooded fields below.
Nature wakes from dream, lightly,
Greets the new season, brightly.
A brilliant azure lights the sky,
And still transparent to the eye
The naked woods show downy green.

Alexander Pushkin. Eugene Onegin

The Rooks Have Come Back, 1871, Alexei Savrasov

2. “Spring is the time of plans and projects. And, as he came out into the farmyard, Levin, like a tree in spring that knows not what form will be taken by the young shoots and twigs imprisoned in its swelling buds, hardly knew what undertakings he was going to begin upon now in the farm-work that was so dear to him.”

Leo Tolstoy. Anna Karenina

Spring Sunny Day, 1910, Konstantin Yuon

3. “In spring, when the ground thaws out, people seem also to become softer.”

Maxim Gorky. Fire short story.

Spring in the Vicinity of St. Petersburg, 1896, Ivan Welz

4. “Nostalgia in reverse, the longing for yet another strange land, grew especially strong in spring.”

Vladimir Nabokov. Mary

Early Spring, 1895, Arkhip Kuindzhi

5. “Judging by people, this April day is similar to that human day when spring cries out “yes” and nature agrees, whereupon everything starts to turn green once more.”

Mikhail Prishvin. Diaries

Spring, On Ploughed Land, 1820s, Alexey Venetsianov

6. Winter’s spite is vain
for its time has come at last.
Knocking at the panes,
spring has cast

it out and everything’s in turmoil,
bustling Winter out,
and skylarks in the blueness
have taken up the shout.

Fyodor Tyutchev. Winter’s spite is vain

Spring, 1921, Boris Kustodiev

7. Oh, spring without end and without limit –
Without end and without limit a dream!
I discover you, life! I accept you!
And welcome you with a clang of the shield!

Alexander Blok. Oh, spring without end and without limit

Spring, 1911, Sergei Vinogradov

8. Freedom is near. I will forgive all yet,
Watching, asray of sun runs up and down
The springtime vine that with spring rain is wet.

Anna Akhmatova. My voice is weak

Ode to Spring, 1927, Alexander Deineka

9. The city took off its wintery things.
The snows turned slobbery.
Spring has come again,
foolish and loose-tongued
as an army cadet.

Vladimir Mayakovsky. Spring

Spring, 1929 Kazimir Malevich

10. “The day was sunny and windy, a day when it’s possible to go round the corner of an apartment block, hide from the wind, press your back against the slightly sun-warmed wall, and feel with all your heart the joy of the coming spring and warmth... To stand, squint and smile.”

Evgeny Grishkovets

Read more: Spring in Moscow: What to like about Russia’s messiest season?

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