Description of the picture:
Peasant woman with cornflowers – Alexey Gavrilovich Venetsianov. Canvas, oil. 40 nine x 37.1 cm
Venetsianov’s works relate to realism. Having moved from St. Petersburg to his small estate in the Tambov province, the painter was able to closely get acquainted with the life of serf farmers. He was one of the first in Russian painting to portray their languid life. Venetsianov’s paintings are true and immediately lyrical. He sees living serfs, not slaves. Indicates their spiritual beauty and inner strength.
Such and this picture. The painter depicted a young peasant woman sitting in a half-turn, facing the viewer. But the gaze of her black eyes is oriented to the side. The highest forehead, her cheeks were slightly touched by a blush, a half smile froze on her lips. The face is pretty, but tired, shoulders down. Apparently, the painter painted it after a hard working day.
Flowers of cornflowers are scattered on the girl’s knees, and over them are strained hands. Thin fingers sort out the petals of wildflowers. Cornflowers in the old days were used as a medicinal plant, and blue paint was also made of them.
Cornflower was considered the emblem of modesty and simplicity. Such a young peasant woman. Her face is thoughtful. It can be seen that this is a quiet, humble woman.
She is dressed lightly enough. She is wearing a snow-white shirt with wide sleeves, a blue skirt and an apron. A head scarf is tied around his head. At the same time, her gentle image is filled with light. The painter admires her quiet inner beauty.
Venetsianov uses an unpainted dark brown background, which should not distract the viewer from the fair face of the girl. The bright blue color of cornflowers is supported by a skirt and a modest necklace on a narrow neck. Heat is added by a pale yellow apron and scarf. Light spots stand out the shirt and face of the peasant woman. A soft, bewildered light falls on her face and figure. From this, the image seems spiritualized and especially lyrical.
This portrait of an ordinary girl is one of the best in Russian painting. Venetsianov managed to convey the beauty of the soul to a young peasant woman, without embellishing it and not creating a cloying-pastoral drawing. His “Girl with Cornflowers” is an image unsullied and sincere, filled with poetry and light.
By his work, the painter raises the “low” art to the “high”, sung by academism. Venetsianov had difficult business with fellow craftsmen. Far not all painters were able to appreciate the significance of his work. He was considered the creator of the “low genre”, depicting the peasant life instead of goddesses and queens.
But Venetsianov’s work is vital and at the moment, with his humanism and ability to see the beautiful in the most ordinary. His canvases are sung by Russian people, demonstrating his best properties. The painter in his own works admires ordinary people, their resistance to difficulties and the ability to maintain a clean soul in the languid criteria of serfdom.
The painting was acquired by P. M. Tretyakov from the heirs of the famous philanthropist and collector, gold miner Stepan Fedorovich Solovyov in one thousand eight hundred eighty-seven years. Currently located in the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow."