"Bathing of a Red Horse," his probably the most famous artwork may well be considered to the main painting of the Russian revolution.
At first it was a realist painting: Petrov-Vodkin painted his nephew sitting on a horse borrowed from a local peasant.
When the picture was nearly finished, Petrov-Vodkin, quite by chance, happened to go to an exhibition of old Russian icons. He was so struck by what he saw at the exhibition that he immediately decided to stylize the "Red Horse" picture as an icon.
The painting immediately developed a new meaning: it became symbolic and even prophetic. The painting was completed in 1912 – by 1917, red was known as the color of the revolution.
To find out more about the artist and his works and enjoy the largest collection of Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin's art without leaving home, join Virtual Tour of Russian Museum in St. Petersburg: