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Painting “Scene on the Grave”, Perov – description

Description of the picture:

The scene on the grave is Perov. 1859. Oil on canvas. 58×69
Russian folklore has been a source of inspiration for artists for many centuries. Before us is a picturesque interpretation of a Russian folk song about crying for the deceased. Three women on the grave: mother, sister, wife.

The inconsolable grief of the old mother, she hugs the grave of her son, as if she wants to hug him, not tear her from the wooden cross.

The sorrow of the sister is quiet and calm. Heals time, erases memories, she comforts grief.

The grief of the young widow, the breastfeeding orphan, is gone. She slyly glances at the soldier passing nearby. Only a mourning black scarf, almost falling from her shoulders, reminds of her grief. Her grief is false, insincere.

The allegorical composition is full of symbolic sound. Behind the fresh grave, on which relatives grieve, one can see several abandoned graves with broken crosses. Human memory is short, the death of a loved one, so hard experienced at first, passes over time, giving way to a new life, not interrupted for a minute.

The author emphasizes the difference between her heroines with the color of their clothes: mother – black and dark blue, sister – light brown, wife – white and orange.

Compositionally, all figures fit into a triangle with a vertex – a cross.

The sky is hard to write in the work. On the one hand, it is not spotlessly clean; on the other hand, it cannot be called heavy. As if life itself, with gaps and dark spots, the sky only softens the heavy atmosphere of grief at the grave, introducing a note of sad optimism.

Undoubtedly related to genre realistic painting, the painting in its symbolic and allegorical content is clearly painted under the influence of the best examples of Western painting from the era of classicism. For this work, the artist was awarded the small gold medal of the school."

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