Tea party in Mytishchi, near Moscow, Perov, 1862

Tea party in Mytishchi, near Moscow, Perov, 1862
Tea party in Mytishchi, near Moscow, Perov, 1862 - 1

  • Author: Vasily Grigoryevich Perov
  • Museum: Tretyakov Gallery
  • Year: 1862

Overview of the painting :

Tea drinking in Mytishchi, near Moscow – Perov. 1862. Oil on canvas. 43.5×47.3

   In work full of details, nuances and little things, there is nothing accidental. Even the place of action is justified. It was Mytishchi water that was considered the most delicious, and tea drinking in this place near Moscow was very popular.

   The normal, trivial summer Moscow stage appears before the viewer. The monk, in our case, is probably the abbot, drinking tea in the shadow of the Moscow garden. A pair of beggars suddenly appeared in front of him: an old blind disabled soldier and a guide boy. A maid, worried about the appearance of beggars, is trying to drive them away. The main character pretends that what is happening does not apply to him at all.

   The orders on the worn-out tire of the soldier, the torn shirt of the boy, the red glossy face of the monk, the hasty and fussing figure of the monastery novice in the background, the opened bag of an important guest, ready to receive the guests, and much more can tell a lot.

   The picture is clearly a satirical plan, although it was written by order of the Mytishchi city government. However, the customer did not accept such an openly anti-clerical work.

   The work is designed in inexpressive colors. Here Perov refuses a rich palette. Gray-greenish tones are designed to show the usualness of the situation, its vitality. The composition of the picture is interesting. The master draws the attention of the viewer to the opposed elements: the monk’s satiety and the exhaustion of the disabled person, the mirror purity of expensive boots and a torn shirt. Finally, the hand stretched behind the alms is stretched into the void.

   Obtaining hypocrisy, gluttony, the spiritual emptiness of churchmen, the author is entirely on the side of the unfortunate and offended. In this work, the artist was perfectly able to convey the atmosphere of awkwardness that arose in this situation. It is clearly seen that the maid serving the guest tries to look away, is embarrassed and simply ashamed.

   Compositely, the artist creates a kind of folk dove, the composition is written off in a circle formed by the trees of the garden. From the perspectives of the figures, in the manner of writing there is a feeling of the evil irony of the author, sarcasm and satire. It is no coincidence that during this creative period the author had many troubles associated with the reaction of the Holy Synod to a number of anti-clerical works. But the progressively-minded public so friendly defended the artist that the claims of the Church ceased.