Two Sisters by Konstantin Makovsky

Two Sisters by Konstantin Makovsky

The exceptional realist master of the everyday genre, Vladimir Makovsky, was often to witty action scenes in which “small” people took part, that is, ordinary people. Extremely sharp on the eye, the artist could notice and portray, at first glance, not at all noticeable things, reveal the characters, expose the conflict.

The name of the picture and a fleeting glance at it itself already gives the viewer a grave feeling of contradiction – two relatives, two sisters, between whom there is a huge gulf of social and financial inequality.

A beautifully and richly dressed woman, looks down on a modest simple girl, and from the program of the picture we learn that they are sisters. At the table around which there is a mess, an old man is sitting, as you can guess the father of two sisters and looking indifferently out the window. Empty inkpots, a bottle on the table, paintings, the ruin in the room – all testifies to the impoverishment of the once beautiful and rich house.

And what about the sister, whose clothes speak of prosperity? From her imperious gaze, as well as from the restless figure of the old housemaid, we immediately understand that she did not come to offer her help. Her prickly eyes require, and her disgustingly alien expression clearly indicate that these poor people are no relatives for her long ago.

This sharp, tough, even cruel satire of the artist so clearly illustrates the destruction of family ties, the strongest, the replacement of true values with false ones. Detailing each image, decor, and household items, the author attracts attention to relatives, but to strangers, highlighting them on the canvas with more light colors, and unfolds an instructive and incredibly sad story in front of us.

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