“Players”, Pavel Andreevich Fedotov – overview of the painting

“Players”, Pavel Andreevich Fedotov – overview of the painting
"Players", Pavel Andreevich Fedotov - overview of the painting - 1

  • Posted by Pavel Andreevich Fedotov
  • Museum: Kiev Art Gallery
  • Year: 1852

Overview of the painting :

Players – Pavel Andreevich Fedotov. Oil on canvas. 60.5 x 70.2 cm

   This canvas was the artist’s latest art work. Life during this period was not easy – the patrons turned away, and he was experiencing a real emotional crisis. But even in these difficult years, he tirelessly continued to work, creating amazing canvases. His work was just colossal! The artist was completely devoted to art.

   The picture shows a room with avid card players. She is lit by candles that one of the men holds in his hands. Players played all night, competing with each other and suffered defeat. At dawn, the winners were on one side of the line, and the losers on the other side. The loser is illuminated by two candles. He laid one knee on the seat of the chair in a curving grieving pose. The man’s hands are attached to the head, his eyes are closed. For him, losing is like death. It’s hard for a player to make his mistake.

   Another defeated man is calm and cold-blooded. He smokes a cigarette without panic, putting his hand on the table upside down. This gesture shows sadness and deprivation. The winning two men are on the unlit side of the room. One of them stands with his hands behind his back. He is glad of his success, and stands out among his comrades with an enthusiastic and proud posture. He has all the best ahead, and he is ready for new victories. The player at the screen sits on a chair with his hands up, throwing his head back. He rejoices, making praise aloud.

   The work uses light gray tones with a predominance of dark and red scales. Fedotov clearly highlighted the bright contrasts, as if two mysterious worlds filled with joy and sadness.

   An interesting wall with empty frames hanging on it. Pavel Fedotov portrayed them, pursuing a certain plan. It is as if they figuratively personify three players, among whom the artist saw himself in difficult tipping years of life.