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V. Makovsky is a typical representative of the ascetic movement in painting. The canvases created by him draw the attention of the viewer to ordinary people deprived of life, convey their little joys, emotions and worries. The central figure in almost every of Makovsky’s paintings is the poor and the poor, left without a livelihood and attention of loved ones. For such people, an overnight home is the only place where they can find temporary rest, a roof over their heads and food.
The central place in the picture is reserved for people dressed in miserable rags. They huddled together on a street covered with snowdrifts in an attempt to warm themselves with at least the warmth of each other's bodies. Some of them are moving, others froze in a long line, reaching for the door of the lodging house. There are too many people who want to get there, and there are probably not enough places for everyone. Drowning in snowdrifts, people perfectly understand their unenviable position, but do not give up hope.
The exhausted faces of people are thoughtful and sad. Each of them has its own history, which led to such an unenviable position. Among them there are unbridled drinkers, those who found themselves on the street for debt, and those who never had their own home because of social injustice and the lack of humanity among those around them.
The hunched figure of an old man in the foreground of the picture deserves special attention.
The man is dressed in a battered frock-coat and a wide-brimmed black hat, which once had seen better days. The old man's face turned red from the cold, short pants do not cover his bare legs, a black folder is clasped in his right hand. Next to the old man he froze the same as he was a beggar, waiting for him to bring him the coveted fire for lighting a cigarette.
Well-acquainted with the work of Makovsky, viewers easily recognize A.K. Savrasov in this old man. The last days of the famous painter were overshadowed by poverty and loneliness. The small orders that he managed to get did not allow him to rent a house, forcing him to wander around the shelters. The canvas is saturated with the spirit of realism, the desire to convey the pain and pity that the artist experienced for disadvantaged people. The date of painting is considered to be 1889.
Portrait of Mika Morozov Serov