Orphaned children at the cemetery by Vasily Perov

Orphaned children at the cemetery by Vasily Perov

Piercing, truly tragic work. Later Perov will develop it in his work, creating several works that make up the treasure of Russian painting. Before the viewer, two children at the grave, covered with snow. Having lost the closest people, everything in their appearance speaks of tragedy, despair and hopelessness.

Apparently, the author portrayed the pupils of the orphanage, deprived of parental affection, love and warmth. The work was written during the European creative trip, presumably in France. Mean and poor color gamut of the work contributes to a more complete disclosure of the theme and idea of the picture.


eyes of the grieving children were amazingly successful. They are empty, deep and sadly calm. Every detail – bare legs, pale faces, clean, but wretched clothes – just scream about children’s grief. Expressive and the surrounding landscape. The heavily snowy sky, the blue-gray snow, the leaning graveyard crosses are all written hard and sorrowfully.

In the work you can see the details filled with symbolic meaning. A flowering branch of a tree on a gravestone looks strange in winter. This can be interpreted as a symbol of continuing life conquering death. Perhaps this is the only decoration of the grave, which turned out to be affordable for little beasts. The heroes of the work form a kind of sculptural group on the grave. The artist’s skill, his tenacious gaze and emotional experiences make the viewer’s heart shrink with sympathy and pity.

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