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The painting by Mina Moiseev was written by I. It was a kind of sketch for a larger canvas by the Peasant with a bridle created a year later. The portrait of Mina Moiseyev is considered the best work of the artist.
In search of the protagonist for a new picture, the artist went to a remote village near St. Petersburg, where in silence and solitude he worked for several weeks on a portrait of an ordinary Russian peasant. Remarkable artistic talent helped the portrait painter to get away from the rules and attitudes adopted when writing such paintings.
In the foreground of the canvas were generalized features of the Russian peasant: a wrinkled face, furrowed eyebrows, a fluffy gray beard, strained hands.
The impression is that the person in the picture is extremely tired, broken by work and hard life. In fact, this is far from the case, having looked closely, the viewer can see that the old man in the picture is sufficiently wiry, well-built, his look is stern and stubborn. He will live a lot more in this world and will apply the strength of his powerful hands to many things.
The old man’s pose in the picture is relaxed, his arms are crossed and pressed to his chest, he looks somewhere to the side past the artist, as if embarrassed by his unusual position. A spark of mischief froze in the corners of the eyes of the old man, his face is covered with wrinkles, but this fact does not spoil the general impression.
The old man is dressed in a blue canvas shirt of not the first novelty, but even in it he looks very impressive and even monumental. The viewer cannot understand how good this old man is, how much he has seen bad and good in this world, whether he is satisfied with his life, whether the artist’s actions delight him, or whether he was forced to agree to a portrait.
It’s not possible to convey all this picture, but thanks to the artist’s mastery, all of the above character traits of this person become available to the viewer.
Gerasimov After Rain Picture