The organ-grinder by Vasily Perov

The organ grinder by Vasily Perov

Vasily Perov – an outstanding painter, his skill, contribution to the development of Russian art and Russian culture can not be overestimated. He was endowed with a unique talent that allows you to write real masterpieces.

Among his works were many paintings that were highly appreciated by critics of the Imperial Academy of Arts. For one of them – “Sermon in the village” – the artist was awarded a large gold medal, which could get a rare master brush. In addition to the prestigious award, the Academy paid a pensioner trip abroad. The journey resulted in beautiful canvases, the

subjects of which were scenes of the street life of European cities. During this period, during his stay in Paris, the painting “The Organ-Grinder” was written.

The artist introduces the viewer to the city organ-grinder, a man who every day in any weather can be found on the streets of French cities. But he is not depicted at work, but by the rest after a long monotonous and tedious work. The organ-grinder sits on a stone bench, holding his chin with his hand and fixing his scattered gaze to nowhere. But what thoughts captured him? The artist sought to convey this through a special position of the head, hands, detached look. Perhaps the street musician is trying to imagine what the future holds for him, how he can continue to earn a piece of bread, how other people live and what problems they are worried about.

Next to him is a small, amusing public monkey and an old barrel organ, which brought quite a modest income. The organ-grinder is depicted against a stone wall collapsing with time. Perhaps – this is not just a wall, but a symbol of the past and lost hopes. The musician sitting at the ruins as if repeats the history of this wall – the old desires and dreams have not been fulfilled and it is unlikely to come true if you allow life to go on as usual. The organ-grinder reflects on the past, present and future. Who knows – maybe right now he will make a decision, which is destined to change his fate?

Despite the high appreciation of the works of Perov of this period, the paintings created by the artist himself did not bring satisfaction. It seemed to him that the writing of other people’s mores did not come out as successful as the image dear to the heart of Russian life. At the same time, in the “foreign” works, including the “Organ-grinder”, the artist managed to reveal the hidden details of everyday life, displaying an excellent knowledge of psychology and a deep vision of human problems.

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