The genius of the master Vasily Perov’s pen was not only in the filigree possession of the power of color, line and other means of artistic expression, but also in the search for non-trivial scenes with a verified composition and deep content. His paintings are a mirror of reality, of which Perov noticed and mercilessly noted all the flaws.
“Sermon in the village” appeared in the very 1861, when serfdom was abolished. The composition of the picture is multi-figured and complex. The viewer seems to be observing her on the sly, from some kind of shelter – such an impression is created
Before us opens the part of the church, where the rural pop leads his sermon. One hand is raised up his, the second points to the sleeping master. Despite loud speeches, it is easy to see that they are of little concern to those present. The couple in the foreground is busy with himself – the young man recklessly flirts with his protégé, holding a tiny prayer book in his hand. Behind the lovers, the merchant is trying to sell the carpet, discussing it with an old woman in a headscarf. Peasants to the left of the preacher: one of them is scratching his head, the other is looking ahead with a unseeing glance – their thoughts are far from here. It is difficult to imagine what they are thinking about – maybe about a difficult share, or maybe about how to distribute the work, in any case, they are not interested in preaching.
Among all this crowd, only one person attentively listens to the priest – a little girl in a dirty blue dress. Her white face is turned to the preacher, and her eyes are wide open – she catches every word. Among the motley crowd, the priest found only one listener.
The picture of Vasily Perov can be considered an eloquent illustration of human disbelief and ignorance, and maybe even fatigue from injustice and hard life.
The finished canvas of a social orientation instantly attracted the attention and interest of the public. In addition, it became a “ticket” abroad for Perov, where it was possible to study European art and improve their skills. For the painting “Sermon in the Village” the painter was awarded a large gold medal and a scholarship, which made it possible to go abroad, which will have a significant impact on the artist’s work in the future.