Description of the picture:
At the door of the school – Nikolai Petrovich Bogdanov-Belsky. Canvas, oil.
Peasant children and a rural school are a favorite topic in the works of Russian artist Nikolai Petrovich Bogdanov-Belsky. All his life he did not stop drawing children, they were at the heart of his work, he always considered them smart, unsophisticated and very sincere.
The painter himself “came out of the people”, the son of a poor laborer, but was able, thanks to hard work, fortitude and a “happy star” in the form of Rachinsky’s teacher, to become a world-class painter, whose work is still in demand.
The picture “At the door of the school” can be called autobiographical for Bogdanov-Belsky. Perhaps, once, like this, the boy Kolya himself was standing on the threshold of a class in a rural school in the village of Tatevo. Noticed his abilities and helped in later life, Sergey Aleksandrovich Rachinsky.
This is a very educated person of his time, a mathematician, a nerd, a professor, but most importantly – a teacher with a capital letter. At his own expense, he organized public schools so that ordinary peasant children could learn to read and write, mathematics, Church Slavonic writing and other sciences. But most importantly, the children learned trust, reciprocity and friendship between students and teachers. Bogdanov-Belsky was lucky; he spent two years at the Rachinsky school. And this period forever left a mark in his life.
He has a whole series of works devoted to school and schoolchildren. The work “At the door of the school” is one of these. The boy who came to school is depicted as an artist from the back, facing the class.
It’s very poor clothing that catches your eye – a torn sheepskin coat, broken bast shoes, trousers as if consist of only one thread – a “hole in a hole”. Behind the back is a travel bag, over the shoulder of the sack, in the hands of a stick-stick, it can be assumed that the boy was walking from afar. Perhaps a shepherd or orphan whose desire for knowledge overpowered the fear of the unknown.
But now, when it was left to take another step, he stopped in indecision. What is there to be met, is it not in vain that he has мейд such a journey? A bright class of an elementary rural school, on the wall there is a geographical map, a reproduction of a painting, icons in the corner, a school board, and students at their desks, whose faces are turned to an unexpected visitor.
All this for the boy is a temple of science, it remains only to gain courage and cross the threshold. But the timidity and oppression of his poor clothes prevails. So the teacher turned and looks at the boy. Who is the one that distracts from the lesson?
We believe that the peasant boy has enough desire to touch this unknown world, learn to read books, just like these guys in the classroom, learn to see on the map of the city and the river, to become part of this atmosphere, called the Rachinsky school. And he will take that step.
Examining the picture “At the door of the school”, there is hope that this boy’s everything will turn out just as well as Bogdanov-Belsky once. The artist always believed in the talent and giftedness of ordinary Russian people, and especially of the children whom he loved with all his heart, admired and was able to convey these feelings in his works."