Celebration of the wedding contract by Mikhail Shibanov

Celebration of the wedding contract by Mikhail Shibanov

Information about the work, and even less about the life of Mikhail Shibanov is very poor. Neither the date of his birth nor his origin or place of study is known. The only fact is that he carried out private orders. There is a suggestion that he painted iconostases, and also known some of his works of the XVIII century. In these works the author portrayed the life of ordinary peasants. They are unique for their time on the subject of the image. At that time nobody drew peasants. Such paintings include his painting “Celebration of the wedding contract.”

This picture took an honorable place in the development of the Russian genre of the XVIII century. On the other side of the picture, the author’s inscription was preserved, which told about why the author chose such a plot. About the celebration itself one can learn from the ancient described peasant way of life. The bottom line is that the groom must come and look at the bride. They exchange rings and small gifts. And if everyone agreed on everything, and everyone liked it, then no one had the right to break this contract, as he was “holy and unbreakable.” It was this solemn moment that Michael Shibanov showed us in his reproduction.

In the picture, in the very center, we see a very solemnly dressed bride. It is like a statue standing among people who are carefully considering it. She is dressed in a colorful sarafan, of light color. The head is covered with a dress embroidered with gold thread and veil. On the neck flaunts pearls. Next to the bride we see the suitably dressed groom. He wears an elegant caftan. The head is covered with a dark-colored hat.

Around them are gathered many people. They, too, are in smart clothes. On men long cloth zipuny, and women in chic sarafans and kokoshniks. On the other side of the picture, one can see a table and four men. Apparently, these are native brides: father and brothers. They kindly invite everyone to the table. And if not foreword to the picture, then at first glance you can not say that these are simple peasants.

With his work Mikhail Shibanov shows us the faith of the common people in the tradition. No matter how hard it would be for them to live, they always adhered to traditions and gave themselves up to the soul.

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