Painting “Hunters on the Private”, Perov, 1871

Painting “Hunters on the Private”, Perov, 1871
Painting "Hunters on the Private", Perov, 1871 - 1

  • Author: Vasily Grigoryevich Perov
  • Museum: Tretyakov Gallery
  • Year: 1871

Overview of the painting :

Private hunters – Perov. Oil on canvas. 119 x 183

   In the work of Perov there is a period when the master avoids acute social scenes. He turns to life as a simple, ordinary, familiar. Among these works, the most familiar is the painting “Survil Hunters”.

   In the center of the composition are three hunters, very different, but each of them is interesting and informative in its own way. The attention of two students was attracted by the passionate and fascinating story of an older, experienced hunter. In his pose, facial expressions, eyes, a holy faith in the “truth” of history, which he decided to tell his comrades. Listeners relate to the story differently. A young hunter eagerly absorbs every word of his experienced comrade, a third participant – a middle-aged man – is skeptical, he casts doubt on every word of the narrator.

   If you carefully consider the composition proposed by the author, then the idea becomes clear. The artist showed a certain life cycle: youth, eagerly knowing the world, absorbing it with faith in a miracle; then comes maturity and experience, when nothing is already accepted on faith and is questioned; maturity is replaced by old age, living memories, constantly falling into the idealization of the past.

   For simple and clear work, deep content, philosophical, difficult. Critics noted the wretchedness and tension that distinguish the surrounding landscape. An alarming sky, flying birds, sparkling grass – everything speaks of autumn, falling asleep, premonition of winter. Why did the artist choose such a gloomy landscape to frame his picture? Most likely, it was important for the author to concentrate the audience on the central figures of the picture, the background should not distract from the main thing in the work.

   Heroes of paintings are real people, friends of the artist, who served as prototypes of hunters. As you know, the author himself loved hunting. Therefore, every detail of the picture is written with knowledge of the case. In the lower left corner of the picture, we see a delightful hunting still life, which, on the one hand, organically fits into the general composition, on the other hand, can well be singled out as a separate work written with remarkable skill and realism.

   The light in the picture focuses on the faces and hands of the heroes. This old technique, from the Renaissance, allows the artist to more fully reveal the inner world of his models. All hunters are clearly satisfied with the results of the hunt, as evidenced by the trophies depicted immediately. The artist portrayed people of different social backgrounds, but all of them were united by hunting, made them forget about the realities of life and completely surrender to the ancient providence.

   It is interesting that the artist again turned to this plot and created another picture for the Russian Museum. The second version of the plot is more schematic, simpler, the color scheme is simpler.

   It is known that some critics accused the artist of expressing unnecessarily played emotions. However, having solved the author’s plan, one can consider this justified. Such a technique allows you to more clearly outline the character and inner world of heroes, to reveal the symbolic component of the picture.