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A Peasant Woman from Tver Province. 1840

Venetsianov Alexei,
Oil on сanvas
67 x 50,5

State Russian Museum


This picture is a portrait of a real individual and a depiction of a generalized image of a peasant at the same time. Venetsianov was acquainted with the models he painted but preferred “strictly symmetrical” faces of classic types that were not unusual among the residents of northern provinces. Moderateness and at the same time brightness of colours – a white shirt, a dark red povoinik (an everyday headdress of married women that was replaces by a kokoshnik on festive days), a bright sarafan, and green leaves – emphasize the accuracy of the image. The painting was created during the late period of Venetsianov’s creative work and differs from his earlier works by more elaborated details and a better developed scene (a young woman leans on a fence, probably waiting for someone).

Author's Biography

Venetsianov Alexei

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.

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