Oil on Canvas
30 x 24
This work was first shown at an exhibition of the Society for the Encouragement of Artists (1826–27). Like many works by Venetsianov, it is a genre painting. The reaper’s uncommon apparel, the dynamic turn of her figure in close-up and the charm of the young peasant woman lend the picture a heightened emotional and festive air, symbolising the ideal spiritual and human nature of the Russian peasantry.
Venetsianov, Alexei Gavrilovich
1780, Moscow - 1847, Poddubie (Tver Province)
Founding father of Russian peasant genre painting. Painter, portraitist, etcher, lithographer. Son of a Moscow merchant, educated at private boarding school, worked as a draughtsman. Moved to St Petersburg (1802) and worked as a land surveyor for the crown properties and forestry departments. Studied painting independently, copied works in the Imperial Hermitage and drew pastel portraits. Academician (1811). Resigned from the civil service, moved to the country and painted genre scenes from life (early 1820s). Exhibited at the Imperial Academy of Arts and the Society for the Encouragement of Artists. Had many students, who formed the Venetsianov school in Russian art. Killed in a road accident at the Milyukov estate.