The painting “Kursistka”, Nikolay Yaroshenko – overview

The painting “Kursistka”, Nikolay Yaroshenko – overview
The painting "Kursistka", Nikolay Yaroshenko - overview - 1

  • Posted by Nikolay Alexandrovich Yaroshenko
  • Museum: Kiev Art Gallery
  • Year: 1883

Overview of the painting :

Kursistka – Nikolay Alexandrovich Yaroshenko. Oil on canvas.

   For a modern viewer, little familiar with the realities of the 19th century, this canvas may seem too simple, even commonplace. But for the time of its creation, the theme of the picture is a real breakthrough, not only in art, but also in public, social life.

   For many centuries, a woman was a “home” creature. It was believed that her destiny was family, children, comfort and well-being of her husband and household. Women were not taught almost anything, except that the aristocrats and the higher bourgeois knew several foreign languages, had good manners and knew how to maintain a secular conversation. The female limit is the ability to read and count a little – to the extent that is required for housekeeping.

   But at the end of the 19th century, women become more independent and independent. They want to learn on an equal footing with men. In large cities, courses are gradually being opened, visitors of which are called coursekeepers.

   In society, such women are often treated with misunderstanding and prejudice, which is perfectly reflected in the painting of Yaroshenko. His cursist is a young girl who bravely and slightly scaredly goes to class. The street is wet and dirty, it rains fine, St. Petersburg rain, but the girl is purposefully heading forward – to another life.

   She is very modestly dressed in dark, discreet things, which gives her social origin. Most likely, she is from the Cereals, which means that she is not rich. With her armpit, she holds textbooks and notebooks, that is, what she will need during her studies. A small black hat is coming up, screwed low on the forehead.

   The girl is very young that only emphasizes her courage and determination. Her image is a symbol of change in society that has helped women reject centuries-old restrictions because of gender and prevailing opinions as limited and not the most intelligent creatures.

   That is why the canvas of the master became familiar in social art of the late 19th century.