Seeing the dead

Vasily Grigorievich Perov • Painting, 1865, 45.3×57 cm
About the artwork
Art form: Painting
Subject and objects: Genre scene
Style of art: Realism
Technique: Oil
Materials: Canvas
Date of creation: 1865
Size: 45.3×57 cm
Artwork in selections: 35 selections

Description of the artwork «Seeing the dead»

After spending some time in Paris, Vasily Perov in 1864 he returned to Moscow. It completely captured the idea to create a series of paintings devoted to the hard life of ordinary people, which the young artist began to realize the inherent heat. The first work, which appeared after the return of the painter from abroad, was the picture of Vasily Perov "Seeing the dead", written in 1865.

The eye of the viewer is presented a sad scene: snow is slowly moving small old sled, which can barely hold a simple wooden coffin and two children — a boy and a girl. The place is so small that the widow is forced to sit on the edge of the coffin to rule the skinny tired horse slowly volokuschy sleigh on a snowy road.

If you look closely at the picture of Vasily Perov "Seeing the dead", you can see that the artist uses diagonal composition which, in theory, should convey action, movement. However, the postures of his characters and the facial expressions tell us about the absence of turbulent feelings, despite the fact that the loss of a loved one is always a pain and complaining about the imperfection of the world. The girl is sitting, staring at the road and Polovnev the coffin, and the boy sleeping, wrapped in a sheepskin coat. Their mother shook her head, as if immersed in the Moody brooding, and does not interfere with the horse's choice to drag the sled towards the village cemetery. From paintings by Vasily Perov "Seeing the dead" breathes humility and despair. Gray clouds looming over the mournful procession, only reinforce the dreary and dismal.

The artist has depicted a gloomy winter day with contrasting colors: a dark shade of clouds coexists with muted white snow and a bright spot hidden behind the clouds the sun. This combination has allowed new as clearly as possible to convey the tragedy of what is happening: the loss of a breadwinner and support the family, the hopelessness and the realization of the inevitable, obedience to God's will. The movie impressed the critics and the audience with a lasting impression: Vasily Perov was awarded a special prize, and two years later, "Seeing the dead" was exhibited at the world exhibition held in Paris.

Contemporaries praised his works, in particular, he was granted the title of academician and extended for two years boarding flat. "Seeing the dead" is not the only painting by Vasily Perov, written in the genre of ideological realism. He created several paintings describing the life of peasants and workers: "The last tavern at the Outpost", "Drowned", "Three", "The arrival of the governess".

Today the painting is part of exhibition of the Tretyakov gallery in Moscow.