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Nikolay Gustavovich Shilder • Painting, 1857, 54×67 cm
About the artwork
Art form: Painting
Subject and objects: Genre scene
Style of art: Realism
Technique: Oil
Materials: Canvas
Date of creation: 1857
Size: 54×67 cm
Artwork in collection: Smart and Beautiful Natalya Kandaurova
Artwork in selections: 11 selections

Description of the artwork «Temptation»

In a dark little room with wooden floors and low arched ceiling, and played the typical urban drama. Sly matchmaker, tries to lead astray the young and pretty maid-seamstress, whose hands dying old mother. Temptress gives the victim the bracelet and points to the door behind the man (his face is wide-eyed I can barely read the black of the doorway). Meeting of innocence and Vice – a story widely circulated in the art world, and the quality of painting picture of Schilder's "Temptation" though written "tightly", can still hardly be called a masterpiece. So what is it famous? And that's what: traditionally it is believed that this painting, along with "Skirmish with Finnish smugglers" Vasily Khudyakov, was the first acquisition collector Pavel Mikhailovich Tretyakov for his congregation. So, the glorious history of the Tretyakov gallery began with "Temptation".

What is the name is not the most famous artist drew the novice collector? Why after a few years, in the first paintings for his gallery Tretyakov, the Schilder is not even mentioned, as if completely forgetting about him? And finally, why is the creation date of the gallery 1856 is considered the year, while the pattern is written no earlier than 1857-th, and sent to Tretyakov and did in 1858. On this confusion of dates and motifs fought more than one generation of art historians and Museum keepers.

The "temptation" of Schilder: compare documents and dates

That the sending of the film took place in 1858-m, that is, two years later "canonical" date of the creation of the Tretyakov gallery, when its congregation has definitely had Khudyakov, Savrasovand Lagorio there's irrefutable evidence – a letter of Nikolay Schilder Pavel Tretyakov, dated July 16, 1858-go: "Dear sir, Pavel Mikhailovich! Send You my picture without a frame, because one to send not very convenient, too much weight. I hope on Your kindness, so personally request: be so kind as to send me the promised sum, if possible, to the 28th of this month that I'll be very grateful. For SIM show You the deepest respect, I humbly remain Your servant N. Schilder".

"Pledged amount" is 150 rubles, the money at the time, a small, but wealthy Schilder, who earned a livelihood by copying famous paintings from Russian museums will be substantial. The fact that Tretyakov sent the artist an advance, evidenced by the following receipt: "From the town of Pavel Mikhailovich Tretyakov got fifty RUB the silver for the painting "the Temptation", I sold him for 150 rubles. silver. N. Schilder".

It would seem – a financial document, even it does not exactly argue. But here in the Museum community, any unexpected questions. This bill, adopted at first upright for the autograph of Schilder, literally scrawled on a piece of paper, it is not dated, and the runaway pencil lines – not very picky and careless. The staff of the division of manuscripts of the Tretyakov gallery noticed that the handwriting on the receipt is very different from the handwriting of Schilder in the letter is very neat and elegant (by the way, the origin of Nikolai Gustavovich Schilder was a Baltic German). Had to invite askerton-criminalists. They spent handwriting investigation and confirmed: Schilder of this receipt did not write!

The version of events from the daughter of Pavel Tretyakov

Alexandra Pavlovna Botkina, daughter of the collector, who wrote about my father a memoir, "Pavel Tretyakov in life and art", offered his explanation of the inconsistency with the dates: "Beginning your collection, the first painting of Russian artists, Pavel calls the "Temptation" of Schilder. It marks the acquisition in the catalogue of 1856, the year. According to the letter of Schilder we set another date... This difference in dates can be explained by assuming that the picture was just launched or even in a sketch, when Pavel saw her for the first time, and that it was finished by the artist to Pavel Tretyakov".

So, Alexandra Pavlovna suggests that Tretyakov saw the sketch, which so pleased him that he ordered for himself the picture for this sketch. Plausible? Not too much. The fact that Alexander Botkin projects on "Temptation," the later practice of his father in the Tretyakov do not just buy already painted pictures of famous Russian artists, and often ordered them to work. In turn, some artists showed collector sketches and recklessly traded, in what amount and for what money can do these thumbnails full operation. But it concerned masters already graduated from the Academy and made a certain name. And Schilder at the time of purchase "Temptation" was 28 years old, and he has no famous, and the Academy has not made any special success – his achievements at that time was limited by a small silver medal, that is consistent with "the average level of training of the artist".

How and where industrialist Tretyakov able to meet the painter Schilder, who in 1856, the year there was no reputation in the artistic environment? Moreover, how could I just planning to start collecting art and do not yet have sufficient qualifications, on their own, without prompting experts to see certain unknown master to buy or, worse still, to order his painting "the Temptation"? It all looked so unmotivated and implausible, that in the middle of the 2000s, employees of the Tretyakov gallery had to rethink a stereotype (though inspired by Tretyakov) that the history of the Tretyakov gallery began with the "Temptation" of Schilder.

When Tretyakov first saw "Temptation" really?

The average student at the Academy of arts Nikolai Schilder, who studied battle painting under Professor Bogdan Villevalde but not made in this field significant progress, in the mid 1850-ies he decided to try himself in the genre of painting. Role model was before my eyes: suddenly died recently, in 1852 year, the artist Pavel Fedotov author "The fresh cavalier"and "Courtship major" that marked the beginning of the Russian genre, but failed to build on the success of early death. His work certainly inspired the Schilder when he wrote his "Temptation." Even established, whence was borrowed the motive of the picture. From figure Fedotov "The mousetrap, or the Poor girl beauty - the death scythe".

In January-February 1858, the year (the Tretyakov collection, recall, there is already about two years) Schilder presented his painting at the exhibition of the Moscow school of painting and sculpture. However, in the directories contained an unfortunate error: the painting was not named "Temptation" and "Seduction," and the name of an unknown artist and is distorted: "Childern".
Now experts of the Tretyakov gallery are almost sure that this was the winter exhibition of 1858, the year picture and saw I ordered it in the spring and the summer written in the letter of Schilder on the reference picture above. At this point in the collection of the Tretyakov already probably been Savrasov (this) and Khudyakov, Lagorio and Lebedev, Stenberg and Shebuev Sokolov , Klodt, Goravsky. So the "Temptation" of Schilder could not be the first acquisition Tretyakov. The statement that he bought the "Temptation" of one year (1856) with the "Smugglers" Khudyakov made Tretyakov 35 years after that date in response to a request from who wanted to understand the critic Stasov, experts now believe an aberration of the memory of the collector.

Over years, Tretyakov just made a mistake: he could not purchase the painting in 1856-m: most likely, at this time simply do not exist in nature.


• Nikolai Schilder and remained in history as "the painter of one picture", although he was quite prolific, and his pair of oval portraits of Emperor Alexander III and Empress Maria Feodorovna stored in the French Museum d'orsay.

• Pavel Tretyakov, in addition to "Temptation", did not buy the Schilder nothing more.

• The secret of receipts that could not write, Nikolai Schilder, is simple: it was hastily sketched by someone knowledgeable in the business papers a sample on the basis of which can make their own receipt Schilder.

• Legend has it that the history of the Tretyakov gallery began with "Temptation", developed over decades, but is refuted by the inexorable facts.

Author: Anna Yesterday