Petersburg, tea party, window
Two bohemian girls with stylish pipes, a vintage teapot on the table, and a huge, panoramic attic window – the plot for this painting, ‘Tea Party’ might have been picked up by the artist in one of St. Petersburg’s artistic workrooms. Classic ‘frame in frame’ composition is used by Chigina in a quite dazzling way: the artist concentrates the spectator’s attention on her heroines not by lightening them up but immersing them into the shade of the room. Geometry of window framing creates a leisurely dynamics which is supported by the verticals of female figures, furniture legs, and city buildings. This dynamics counterbalances the dramatic tension created by the expressive contrast between ochre-yellow and light blue tones in the background with rich tinges of dark blue of the room in the foreground, as well as with the bloody-red lamp resonating with reflections on the furniture and the garments. The spirit of the evening St. Petersburg, captured with great precision, makes one watch this painting over and aver again.