“Twitched”, Nikolai Alexandrovich Yaroshenko – overview of the painting

“Twitched”, Nikolai Alexandrovich Yaroshenko – overview of the painting
"Twitched", Nikolai Alexandrovich Yaroshenko - overview of the painting - 1

  • Posted by Nikolay Alexandrovich Yaroshenko
  • Museum: Tretyakov Gallery
  • Year: 1878

Overview of the painting :

The prisoner is Nikolai Alexandrovich Yaroshenko. Oil on canvas. 107 x 143 cm
   The painting by Nikolai Alexandrovich Yaroshenko “The Prisoner” depicts a prisoner who, climbing a wooden table, looks at the sunlight passing through the grid.

   A painter, as in many other works (Gypsy, Life Everywhere), addresses social issues. He wants to show that the prisoner, even if he is in conditions in which the cultural spectators of that time could not imagine themselves, is the same person as they are.

   The author’s idea that all people have the same needs is guessed – everyone needs sunlight and fresh air, that is, joy and freedom. When looking at the canvas, there is a feeling that not a single person is separated from humanity and therefore everyone deserves respect and sympathy.

   However, one should not see utilitarianism in the artist’s work. Nikolai Alexandrovich strongly disagreed with the idea that art is entirely intended to preach morality, and the aesthetic component in it is necessary only for a better assimilation of the moral principles that it seeks to convey.

   Similar ideas were characteristic of the volost, which, despite friendly acquaintance with Tolstoy and Chertkov, Yaroshenko did not accept.

   In the picture, we see how morality, about which the author, of course, calls for the audience to think, is closely intertwined with the realism of execution: a fine transmission of lighting, the accuracy of each smear. We can confidently say that the master did not forget about the technique.

   But more importantly, the artist saw and tried to convey to us the peculiar beauty of the situation. It is important that the prisoner’s profile, despite the hardships that you have to meet in prison, still looks proud.

   Human dignity is still not lost, which means that there is hope that the prisoner will come out, return to normal life and, if he is guilty, will take the true path.