“Anchor, another anchor!”, P. A. Fedotov, 1852

Description of the picture:

“Anchor, another anchor!” – Pavel Andreyevich Fedotov. 1852. Oil on canvas. 34.5×46
   The painting “Anchor, another anchor!” was created in the year of the tragic death of the artist. This small canvas of Pavel Fedotov evokes a feeling of anguish.

   In the faint light of a dying candle, a dull gloomy room with a low ceiling can hardly be distinguished. Hot yellow-red reflections, running through, highlight either a pile of clothes on the wall, then the remnants of dinner, then the outstretched arm of a lying half-naked officer, then his leg lifted up in a light sock.

   A standing officer somewhere off the beaten path is amused. Putting aside the bored guitar, he began to drive a poodle through the stick, repeating, in Russian and French, the words of the team: “Anchor, another anchor!” How much time did he spend on this activity? Probably a lot. There is nothing more to do, no feelings, no desire. He repeats the same words endlessly, a completely stupefied dog jumps … The tormenting, dull idleness, the deep loneliness of a man imprisoned in this stuffy hut create a feeling of complete hopelessness, hopeless longing.

   The cold moonlight outside the window shades the flickering flame of a candle, the reflections of which hit the walls of a small low room, like a living human soul in a futile search for a way out.

   Painting is unlike the miniature technique of the artist’s earlier works, where he appears to be a brilliant master of an entertaining story. The broad free brush of the painter is here called not only to describe, but to express feelings. “Anchor, another anchor!” Is a tragic confession of a Russian artist from the middle of the last century. Russian painting did not rise to such a power of drama and conviction."

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