“Krestyansky children in the field”, Venetianov – overview of the painting

“Krestyansky children in the field”, Venetianov – overview of the painting
“Krestyansky children in the field”, Venetianov - overview of the painting - 1

  • Posted by Alexey Gavrilovich Venetsyanov
  • Museum: Russian Museum
  • Year: 1820s

Overview of the painting :

Peasant children in the field – Alexey Gavrilovich Venetianov. Oil on canvas. 38.5 x 30 cm

   Venetianov is known for his paintings depicting peasant life. Having retired from public service, the artist settled on his estate, where he saw with his own eyes the life of serfs. His childhood images are especially interesting. The author writes children with special love and trepidation. This picture also applies to such work.

   The canvas depicts a simple Russian landscape: a field with grazing cattle; a forest is visible in the distance; a transparent, clear sky occupies a third of space.

   In the foreground of the canvas, the artist placed the figures of children – two girls and a boy. The shepherd boy is painted with his back on the large stone. He looks at the girls who brought him lunch. One of them stretches out the edge of the bread, and the boy extended his hand to take it. Most likely, these are brothers and sisters from one peasant family.

   Girls, on the contrary, are written facing the audience. The eldest, in a blue scarf, smiling, looks at his brother. Another – takes it, putting its head on its shoulder. This gesture is very touching, showing how girls are friendly and how warm they are for each other and the boy.

   They are not rich, but their clothes are clean, neat. The girls are wearing long shirts, at the bottom decorated with a strip of colored fabric. On top of the rubs are canvas hoods with belts. On the heads – scarves, on the legs – bast shoes. The boy has his own hat, which lies on the ground in the foreground. This means that he is considered quite an adult. He also wears a hoodie with a cook and a paw.

   The canvas has a restrained pastel color, the colors are calm, faint, which emphasizes the ordinary situation. Brock colored spots show a scarf and strip at the bottom of the elder’s sarafan, which additionally distinguishes her image in front of other heroes of the picture. First of all, the viewer’s gaze falls on her and then notices her sister standing behind her and the boy in the foreground. It can be seen that the artist focused the main lyrical message on her gentle, serene face. The second girl stands as a reflection of the first, already more clearly demonstrating tenderness for her sister.

   In the hands of girls there are baskets with mushrooms or berries. Apparently, they are returning from a forest that turns green in the distant background.

   The children of the peasants began to work early, to help parents with the housework. Their life was not easy, but it did not stop them from taking care of each other. The work of Venetianov evokes warm emotions in the viewer and makes you admire this trinity.

   Alexey Gavrilovich was one of the first among the artists to portray serfs as people who are able to express noble feelings, strong in spirit and beautiful in soul.

   It is known that in his estate he built an art school for talented peasant children. Some of them Venetianov had to buy from other landowners. He talked a lot with serfs and saw that they were worthy of sympathy and respect. This is what he tried to show in his works, one of which is the described picture.