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On the Boulevard

Painting, 1887, 53×68 cm

Description of the artwork «On the Boulevard»

The Picture Makovsky "On the Boulevard" at first glance, is an everyday scene. But having peered more closely, we see a plot of a family drama.

Clearly enough to identify the place of action is Sretensky Boulevard. At that time the working area, the aristocrats then walked. On the bench of a young and apparently drunken man playing the accordion beside him stoop-shouldered woman, clutching a bundle...? Yes this is wrapped in a wrapping cloth baby! What happens between them? Yes, to be honest, the painting is nothing, they look like strangers to each other people who happened to be there. To understand the meaning of what is happening, you will have to recreate the historical context.

Before us in all its glory appears the process called "the peasantry in the Russian countryside". In search of work peasants were left impoverished villages, went into town, were employed in the service or unskilled workers. This process was very painfully cut off from their bases, the peasants were defenseless against the influence of urban slums. They stand at a crossroads: no longer rural, not yet urban, forgetting one's homeland and have not found another. We see one result of this process: from the village to her husband-Masterova wife came with a baby. Most likely, the father has not seen the baby. Probably to raise money for this trip she was difficult. And how she waited for this meeting, as were presented to her! Yes, it is clearly pictured than it is happening now...
Feel like "city", dressed in a red shirt on the occasion of Sunday afternoon, the guy looks and indifferent, and disabuse on a sudden hindrance came here, a day off spoils, and even before the urban audience is a disgrace, they say.

His cheeks newt – obviously took on his chest, wearily-indifferent appearance, he plays the accordion, he turned away from his useless wife and child. And in the face of the woman despair and hopeless grief. Just collapsed her world. Staring motionless looking down, looking down, clutching a bundle with a baby, she seems frozen in her grief. Her hope and support, her husband along with "the dust of the village" smart and shook off his boots, and the former affection. His future, however, too much optimism does not inspire. Drinking, sure!

In line with this pattern becoming and other work Makovsky on the topic of relations between towns and villages. Not this kid grew up playing the accordion artisan? And that's the fate of the baby, who now clings to his mother? Not so does presents "a bright future" the city of the latter-day dandy? But in my childhood was probably worn with the other children, playing grandmother. But the period of carefree childhood of the poor short-lived.

Landscape paintings of Makovsky "On the Boulevard" is an emotional accompaniment to happening before our eyes drama. Chilly, probably in November day, diffuse in the air, the damp, from which I want chilly chill, feeling all the rain, the reflections of the wet roofs... the Loneliness and meaninglessness seem to have filled the Boulevard, and people on it. Passers-by in depth paintings underscore the alienation the main characters from each other and from the world.

The painting "On the Boulevard" was first shown in 1887 on the 15-th exhibition of the Peredvizhniki group. Then it was acquired Pavel Tretyakov for 1500 rubles – at that time it was a rather high cost.

Author: Alain Grosheva
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About the artwork

Art form: Painting

Subject and objects: Genre scene

Style of art: Realism

Technique: Oil

Materials: Canvas

Date of creation: 1887

Size: 53×68 cm

Artwork in selections: 14 selections

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