In the days of pastoral, nomadic peoples, long before railroad tracks and modern roads ever existed, it was the rivers, lakes and seas that provided the means of transportation, irrigated the fields, and offered a natural way for people to keep in touch.
The Volga boatmen, singing with great gusto as they accompanied heavy loads of wheat and other cargo along the inland canals of Russia, left a legacy of songs that are still popular today. It is little wonder that Russian painters found such powerful inspiration in the rivers, lakes and seas that flow so abundantly throughout the vast country. A symbol of life, of purity, and of the regeneration of body and soul, water also conveys a sense of danger, the threat of overwhelming force. For Russian poets, writers, and artists, it was often the sight and sound and symbolism of water that inspired them to express a whole range of feelings.
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lyall is an australian, who lives and works in london.
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