Bargain. Scene from serfdom life. From the recent past by Nikolay Nevrev

Bargain. Scene from serfdom life. From the recent past by Nikolay Nevrev

The life of the brightest devotee Nikolai Vasilyevich Nevrev was incredibly tragic, and can not but cause sympathy. Looking at his sharp exposing work, the feeling is only intensified.

A wonderful painter, a master of a historical genre, in the late 60s suddenly experiences a creative and moral turning point. Endowed with a subtle soul and a heightened sense of justice, Nevrev is taken for the satirical endowment of his contemporary society. The painting “Bargaining. Scene from serf life. From the recent past” is an outstanding work written in the genre of picture drama, caustic satire, demonstrating

the author’s disgust at the “wild” customs of the serf landowners.

In the picture we see two landowners, whose appearance, despite the good decoration, causes a persistent feeling of hostility. Arrogant, arrogant, bald, they are discussing a deal in which a young peasant girl acts.

What “touches” the viewer most of all is the extraordinary calm of the landlords, as if it is a matter of an inanimate object. Taking the gaze aside, the owner of the girl is thinking about something, the flabby buyer has economically put his hand on the serf, confident that the matter will be settled.

Further the look slides to the girl’s face. Today it is difficult to say how the author conceived it, because when this picture fell into the hands of Tretyakov, it was in this place that the hole was gaping. But the restored face expresses protest and awareness of powerlessness, and tightly compressed lips, an impenetrable look in a compartment with folded hands on the chest force to admire the girl’s masculinity.

The crowd of serfs in the background is a disenfranchised mass of people who can only sympathize. Is that stands out among them the elder, who drove the girl to the auction. Belted with a sash, he stands silent, indifferent and impassive – he is a performer of lordly will.

What is most striking in the picture is how much the author was able to convey information about the main characters! The room’s decoration speaks eloquently of an educated host – paintings, books, and even a portrait of the free-thinker Mirabeau; the self-confident guest – his relaxed pose, carelessly thrown at the chair clothes, the character of the girl – a stubborn look and a protesting pose. We can feel each character, rebel, sympathize, empathize, marvel at the immoral order of the powerful world of the past.

The painting “Bargaining” was a great success and a great defeat for the author. Discovered in the old attic and appearing to the world, she brought fame to the artist, but overshadowed his rest of the work, which was incredibly original and skillful. Subsequently, he was not claimed and had an acute need, which drove him to despair and suicide.

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