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Monastic Refectory. 1865–76

Perov Vasily,
Oil on Canvas
84 x 126


Vasily Perov was a leading master of genre scenes. This particular work was regarded as a direct attack on the hypocrisy of the church. Such human vices as gluttony, self-interest, arrogance and envy are personified in the figures of the priests sitting at the refectory table, symbolically placed between a woman begging for alms and a crucifix. The bright sunshine pouring in through the window offers hope for the possibility of spiritual renewal.

Author's Biography

Perov Vasily

Perov, Vasily Grigoryevich
1834, Tobolsk - 1882, Kuzminki (now part of Moscow)
Painter, genre artist, portraitist, history painter, teacher. Studied under Alexander Stupin at the Arzamas School of Art (1846-61). Fellow of the Imperial Academy of Arts in France (1862-64). Academician (1866). Professor (1870). Founding member of the Society of Travelling Art Exhibitions. Taught at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture (1871-82).

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