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The picturesque canvas of the Tretyakov Gallery, which invariably attracts the attention of visitors, is “The arrival of the sorcerer at a peasant wedding”. This ambitious work was written in 1875 by the Russian genre writer V. M. Maksimov.
The artist was a native of the village. Having matured and left the village life, he returns here again to enjoy the original atmosphere, learn more about simple, at first glance, people and write pictures about him.
The work on the wedding was realized thanks to the artist’s childhood memories. He remembered the case of the marriage of his brother. The couple stood, and everyone else could not stop looking at them. During a feast, a stranger entered the hut, accompanied by his dog, without taking off his hat, he stopped at the threshold. Seated alarmed and whispered: the sorcerer came.
After the uninvited guest politely served a cup of drink, gave a coin, and he set off home. The picture depicts the same plot, but somewhat modified and very detailed. There is no dog near the sorcerer, he is also in a headdress, while it is sprinkled with snow and with adhering snowballs on boots and a sheepskin coat.
An elderly woman came up to him with bread. The wise woman wishes to appease the sorcerer with manifested hospitality, so as not to call out grief and hear good parting words. Other relatives and guests are alarmed, scared, children are full of curiosity. Newlyweds in the corner of the hut still stand under the icons.
A hidden light source illuminates them with a bright glow. Light also falls on the faces and clothes of other characters, on the harsh features of the old man who entered. Some of the figures are in darkness and cast shadows. This creates a general impression of mystery, mysticism.
Maximov paid much attention to the transfer to the viewer of the life of peasants. The windows are closed with colorful curtains, people are dressed in the spirit of folk traditions. The faces of the peasants, their images - superstition, openness, credulity and breadth of soul.
Painting The Holy Family