Picture “Troika”, Perov, 1866
- Author: Vasily Grigoryevich Perov
- Museum: Tretyakov Gallery
- Year: 1866
Overview of the painting :
Three – Perov. 1866. Oil on canvas. 123.5×167.5
The most recognizable, tragic, emotional and legendary work of a great artist has been capturing the audience for more than a century and a half, forcing her to empathize and sympathize with the heroes of the work.
On a deserted and ominously gloomy street, visible to an ice broom, three children carry a huge tub of water covered with corn. Water, splashed out of the vat, instantly freezes, turning into icicles. So the author means a winter cold, which makes the work even more dramatic.
Three children’s figures, different, but equally exhausted, are harnessed to the wagon like a triple of horses. The face of the only girl in the harness is facing the viewer. The opened little body opens an old, washed skirt. The eyes are half closed, tension and an unspeakable flour on the face. A cold wind flutters her voice, and heavy and not old large boots further emphasize the fragility of the girlish figure.
The extreme left boy, apparently the youngest of the trinity. Hard work seems to have almost completely deprived him of strength. The hand hangs limp, tension is read throughout the body, and a thin pale children’s neck and look full of despair and hopelessness completes the tragic picture.
As you know, the master for a long time could not find a model for the central figure of the “troika”. This is the oldest of the children depicted in the picture. According to the plot of the work, it is the central figure that bears the main part of the drama of the work. As a senior in a team, the boy is trying to play the role of leader. He, extolling pain and cold, does not show his fatigue. All striving forward, he himself gives strength to weakened comrades.
The childish eyes of the trinity of the sufferers, their clothes from someone else’s shoulder, excessive labor – the master calls on the viewer to be horrified by the situation of the children, calls for mercy.
Particular attention should be paid to the surrounding landscape. Desert street, monastery wall (this is easy to determine from the side of the gate with the image above them), two human figures – a man wandering into the cold fur coat, pushing a barrel of water from behind. The author does not show us the faces of adults. They, as if not present in the picture, become only part of the landscape.
Absolutely sad dog running nearby. Having swayed into the cold, darkness and twilight, he accompanies his masters, carrying all the hardships and difficulties with them.
The author chooses the darkest and most inexpressive colors for his work, the light picks out from the frosty haze only the faces of the three main characters.
The gray, gloomy sky enliven several flying birds, also suffering from frosts.
Gray, dirty snow underfoot, scattered brushwood, icy sled. All of the above reinforces the impression of the picture, filling it with an atmosphere of hopelessness, suffering and doom.
The work became a powerful and loud conviction, a protest against the use of child labor, a ruthless attitude towards children.