Description of the picture:
Girls lit by the sun – Vladimir Yegorovich Makovsky. Oil on Canvas, 24 x 17 cm
V.E. Makovsky was a traveling artist, a master of everyday genre. He has many paintings, exposing the vices of society and showing the difficult life of the peasantry.
But “Girls, lit by the sun” stand out for their cheerfulness and brightness of colors from the rest of the artist’s works. Makovsky often traveled to Ukraine to plein air. These places won him over with its picturesque and national color. The artist has a whole series of works dedicated to Little Russia.
The picture is a small sketch. In the center of the canvas, the artist depicted two Ukrainians in national dresses with floral wreaths on their heads. Customary wreaths could only be worn by unmarried girls.
One girl sits on her knees on the terrace floor of the house and reads a book. She is depicted with her back to the viewer, we can see her bare feet bent under him. Next to it is a wooden bucket. Perhaps the girl sat down to rest from homework. But this is hardly her home. Most likely, she serves the local landowners. The mistress could leave the book, and the villagers found it and read it.
A second girl stands on the other side of the terrace, resting her hand on the railing. She is looking directly at the viewer. Her face expresses attention and empathy with the text of the book.
Another hero of the picture is sunlight. He gently hugs the girls’ figures and brightly illuminates the green trees and the clearing in the background. In contrast, a shadow appears on the terrace and in the bushes behind the Ukrainians. The black spot favorably emphasizes the girl’s figure, lit by the sun. A cheerful red color in a floral wreath and costumes adds a festive picture.
This small genre scene is filled with lyrics and warmth. It is evident that the artist admires his heroines, their pure souls, youth and immediacy evoke his sympathy. Makovsky shows the rich inner world of simple villagers, not alien to craving for beauty."