“Dark people”, Konstantin Apollonovich Savitsky – overview of the painting

“Dark people”, Konstantin Apollonovich Savitsky – overview of the painting
“Dark people”, Konstantin Apollonovich Savitsky - overview of the painting - 1

    • Posted by Konstantin Apollonovich Savitsky
    • Museum: Russian Museum
    • Year: 1882

Overview of the painting :

Dark people – Konstantin Apollonovich Savitsky. 1882. Oil on canvas.

Russian realist artist Konstantin Apollovich Savitsky became famous mainly for his genre paintings with subtle psychological characteristics. One of these works is the canvas “Dark People”. The picture was conceived back in the 70s – sketches were preserved. However, the master completed the work only after 10 years. This is so in the spirit of Savitsky: to get carried away with ideas, try, switch to another, so that afterwards return to your plan.

The artist depicts three men in the boat, whose profession is infinitely far from noble. Robbers, smugglers, runaway convicts? The author calls them simply “dark people”, inviting the viewer to decide who is in front of them.

The faces of the heroes are deliberately rude, extremely wary. It seems that nature is echoing their condition – you can notice a tough real estate, the thickets of which almost close the sun.

Savitsky almost never noted any nationality in the heroes. But in the presented picture you can notice the earring in the ear of one of the robbers, as well as the richly decorated dagger handle, which is plugged in the belt. This is a clear hint that men belong to the dashing cohort of a robber Cossack porch.

Suspicious faces in the boat look rather bloodthirsty – shaggy eyebrows, thorny looks, a beard. Here one reached for the gun, the youngest. An old robber swayed from his knee. He is wearing outlandish oriental clothes, which once was beautiful and rich, and now resembles rags.

After a traveling exhibition, where “Dark People” were first presented, Savitsky rewrote the canvas, slightly softening the rude features of the heroes.

It is known that the painter duplicated some of his work, presenting them to his friends. This picture remained in a single copy. In 1891, a friend of Savitsky, a collector of I. The flowers asked for a double for him, but the author limited himself to a sketch.