Seeing the dead man, Vasily Grigorievich Perov, 1865

Description of the picture:

Seeing the dead man – Vasily Grigorievich Perov. 1865. Oil on canvas. 45.3×57

   Small sad paintings by Vasily Grigorievich Perov, written by him in the second half of the 1860s: “Seeing the dead man”, “Three”, “Drowned woman”, “The last tavern at the outpost”, are lyrical short stories telling about the unfortunate fate of poor people. Their fate worried many Russian writers and poets, artists and composers of the last century. Novels wrote about them and composed verses; their life appeared on the canvases of artists and found expression in songs. These works were created by masters of various creative aspirations, characters and temperaments, but they united their deep sympathy with humiliated and offended and noble anger towards the oppressors.

   In the painting “Seeing the Dead Man” Perov depicted an event, which, according to critic V. V. Stasov, “… every day happens on the thousand ends of Russia, only no previous painter has seen this and did not stop there.”

   In the joyless scene, the painter-painter felt the burial of the peasant with his whole being, he understood the inescapable grief of the peasant family, which had lost its breadwinner and support. That is why the short winter day is so gloomy, the clouds are so low and heavy, the snowy distances are so cold and desolate, and this small group of unhappy people is so lonely and bitter.

   The theme of sorrow, which found expression in the gloomy gray and brown colors, in the rhythmic structure of the composition, the silhouette of the mournful figure of the peasant woman, is repeated many times, varies, like a sad motive of a Russian song."

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