Museums and Art

“Reading the provision of February 19, 1861”, Myasoedov - description of the painting

“Reading the provision of February 19, 1861”, Myasoedov - description of the painting

Reading the provision February 19, 1861 - Grigory Grigorievich Myasoedov. 138.2 x 209 cm

The outstanding Russian artist Myasoedov Grigory Grigoryevich is known not only as a painter, but also as the founder, leader and participant of the society of artists of traveling exhibitions. Their work was fueled by populist ideas, they carried the culture to the masses, organizing art exhibitions.

Myasoedov, born in the family of a poor nobleman of the Tula province, understood the hard work of the common people, the disenfranchised and humiliating position of the peasants. The work of Myasoedov in the period of the 1870s can be characterized as acutely social, critical.

So, his work, created in 1873 - “Reading the manifesto February 19, 1861” - can be safely attributed to the direction of critical realism.

Grigory Grigoryevich, possessing a sharp temperament, ironic mentality, subtle observation of the artist and an active civic stance, could not help but respond with his creativity to such a momentous event for Russia as the abolition of hated serfdom.

The painting depicts peasants who gathered to listen to the decree of Emperor Alexander II on land reform. The men gathered in a barn for drying hay, it is dimly dark, but sunlight penetrates from above, which illuminates the group and the boy reading the manifesto. Leaning forward, carefully and hopefully, a young guy in a white shirt is listening to the reader. On the faces of men older and wiser one feels a certain mistrust, doubt. The pose of the farmer with his arms folded on his stomach causes a feeling of fatigue and hopelessness.

The reform of 1861 and at present still causes controversy because of its ambiguity, but how can ordinary people of the 19th century understand whether they will have a better life or a decree only for wealthy landowners?

Myasoedov’s talent as a painter is fully manifested in this picture - how real the poses are, how rich the emotions are on the faces of men, how colorful each character is, how any detail is written - from bast shoes to straws.

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