“Date”, Vladimir Egorovich Makovsky – overview of the painting

“Date”, Vladimir Egorovich Makovsky – overview of the painting
"Date", Vladimir Egorovich Makovsky - overview of the painting - 1

  • Posted by Makovsky Vladimir Egorovich
  • Museum: Tretyakov Gallery
  • Year: 1883

Overview of the painting :

The date is Vladimir Egorovich Makovsky. 1883. Oil on canvas. 40 x 31.5 cm

   Probably the most piercing work on a social topic among Vladimir Makovsky is the painting “The Date”, which the author finished writing in 1883. Here, the influence of the artistic mobile association, which has placed at the forefront the problems of modern society, is clearly read.

   Heroes of the picture are the poorest representatives of the Russian people, mother and son. The young man, due to lack of funds, was given to the city as apprentices, and this is a difficult, many hours and little paid work. His mother came to visit him, bringing only a loafer of bread from the guests.

   The boy is wearing a dirty dark apron, from under which a motley shirt with rolled sleeves is visible. There is nothing on his feet at all – a young man on the earthen floor stands barefoot. The hero’s face is amazing: the viewer does not immediately recognize the boy in him, rather, this is the face of a man. The features of the coarsen, the look is focused on food, and the expression is not childishly serious.

   A mother wrapped in a scarf is shown by Makovsky in profile. She thoughtfully looks into the void, reflecting on the difficult share of her son. How sore and her mother’s heart groans … Her shoulders harbor a rude tulup, and a simple wool skirt tells us that she came from the village, and most likely on foot. Winter stands in the yard, so its path was not easy.

   Their meeting is devoid of hugs, conversations and any kind of communication in general – exhausted heroes are tired of hard work and worries. The scenery against which their bleak date unfolds only emphasize extreme poverty. Their meeting takes place in some gloomy room with blackened wooden walls, where from the objects of dwelling we can only notice a clay jug standing on a barrel. It seems that we can hear how the ringing silence hangs in this cramped room.

   Dark flavor predominates in the picture, “diluted” only with bright contrast spots – clothes and faces of heroes. Makovsky specially highlighted the faces of his mother and son with the help of a famous reception – natural sunlight from a small window falls on them, which the painter does not intentionally include in the composition.

   As for the compositional structure, here Makovsky remains true to himself – he pushes the heroes of his plot as close as possible to the audience so that we can examine their faces and extinct eyes. This achieves a huge emotional effect.

   A thin boy with an adult not older than 13 years old, unusually hungry, barefoot, dressed in poor untidy clothes, and his mother, who is weeping her son with bread, is a plot that draws the deepest life tragedy of typical representatives of the poor in Russia. And from work blows helplessness and hopelessness.

   The picture “Date” by the power of emotional influence can only be compared with the “Little organ grinders” created 15 years before the described work.

   Makovsky never limited himself to displaying social problems, for which he was condemned by other mobile phones, but if he nevertheless addressed this problem, he did it with his inherent responsibility and soulfulness, which is why the artist’s social works still resonate in our hearts.