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Pryanishnikov's painting “Cruel Romances” was written in 1881. The author again turns to the everyday genre, depicting the plot of the work satirical. It is worth noting that the artist almost always painted people, but not just portraits, but some events that carry a meaning, make you think about the presented situation, even plunge into it.
In his works, Pryanishnikov reaches maximum naturalness, combining moments of beauty and classic everyday compositions. Each image carries a certain mood, character, a certain atmosphere.
“Cruel romances” have not only satirical content, but also the original author’s name. Pryanishnikov depicts a comic scene: a young guy of a rather ridiculous appearance, with curly curls and a brand new frock coat, loudly sings songs while playing the guitar. The hero is trying to charm the girl next to her, to win her heart.
The position, emotional mood of the young man, something associated with a howling dog, provokes in the observer ridicule, a sense of disgust, pity. The girl is clearly embarrassed and confused by such an act, therefore she sits with her head bowed and turned away from her admirer.
When looking at this canvas, many begin to compare painted heroes with literary heroes. Thus, at the mention of the "Cherry Orchard" by Anton Pavlovich Chekhov, the characters are visualized in the version of Pryanishnikov. The confusion on the girl’s face is akin to the feelings of Chekhov’s Dunyasha, trying to copy some nobility, depicts suspiciousness and prepares to faint from any excitement.
Yasha, performing cruel romances with guitar accompaniment, seeks to get the maid's location. The work fully conveys the comic and absurd behavior of young people.
The Rape of Europe by Rembrandt