Little Village by Kazimir Malevich

Little Village is a painting by Kazimir Malevich which was finished in 1908 and is now a part of a large collection in the Netherlands. This complex piece features a charming landscape which might remind some of the work of Klimt and Kandinsky.

This delightful painting features a large number of dwellings which are equally distanced from each other in a relaxed village environment. The sea laps at the shore on the right hand side with a number of small boats making their way in and out of the harbour. A strip of sand runs along the coastline but the village looks relatively relaxed. Small roads appears here and there between the houses and there are also a number of gardens which fill other parts of the composition. The sea then sweeps around in the top right, perhaps suggesting that it might instead be a river network. This allows a small island of land to then appear from the right. At the top are some expressively painted clouds in a manner which is entirely contemporary, and abstract whilst also being easily identifiable. Each is approximately the same size and shape, and leave very little space between each one for the blue sky to show through from behind.

In terms of comparing this painting to other 20th century artists, you might find some similarity with artworks such as Houses in Munich and Munich-Schwabing with the Church of St Ursula by Wassily Kandinsky as well as Malcesine on Lake Garda and Church in Cassone by Gustav Klimt. Landscape art had been successful for several centuries already, but new artists were now finding new ways to capture their local environments and the ones mentioned here were particularly charming. This new approach continues today, with contemporary landscape art being amongst the most popular genre with the art public. Despite that, Malevich did not work in this manner too often and moved on fairly quickly though fortunately we are still able to enjoy this piece today in its currently location in the Netherlands. The institution where it is held also offer several other pieces from this famous Russian artist’s career.

Little Village, from 1908, can be found in the collection of the Stedelijk Museum which is based in Amsterdam, Netherlands. They have a good number of artworks produced by Malevich in the earlier parts of his career and therefore cover a wide variety of the different styles in which he worked. For example, you will discover Fauvist, Cubist and even Impressionist paintings here that actually have his signature on them. It was only later that he developed and stuck to the abstract approach which would become his signature style, bringing in classic artworks such as Black Square, Black Circle and Black Cross. By then he had reduced his palette to variations in black and white, but had earlier used much brighter tones whilst becoming involved in other movements. He looked across to western Europe for new ideas, but ultimately became the influencer himself later on.

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