Riddle of the most famous paintings of Kustodiev: who actually was the "Merchant's Wife at Tea"
• The mystery of the most famous paintings of Kustodiev: who actually was the "Merchant's Wife at Tea"
The famous Russian artist Boris Kustodiev in his work often turned to the images of bills of sale, most famous among these works is the "Merchant's Wife at Tea". With a picture related many interesting facts: in fact, the artist posed is not the merchant's wife, also written in 1918, the canvas is still causing a lot of debate whether Kustodiev treated his models with irony or admired her?
Boris Kustodiev. The old Suzdal 1914
Subject measured merchant provincial life was an artist associated with the memories of a happy childhood and adolescence. Although the material conditions of life of his family were very cramped - my father died young, and care for the four children lay on the shoulders of the mother - still in the house there was an atmosphere of love and happiness. 25-year-old widow tried to instill in children a love for art, theater, music and literature. With merchant way of life Boris Kustodiev was familiar from childhood - family rented an outbuilding in the merchant's house in Astrakhan. Subsequently, the artist will repeatedly return to his childhood memories of leisurely happy life in a provincial town.
B. Kustodiev. Apple Orchard, 1918
B. Kustodiev. Merchant's Wife, drinking tea 1923
"Merchant's Wife at Tea" Kustodiev wrote in 1918, at 40 years of age. Years of happy youth, has long been left behind, and with the arrival of the Bolsheviks to power, this life has been lost irretrievably. Merchants' mansions and portly merchant of tables laden with fare is now live only in the memory of the artist. Times were hungry and fearful of what he wrote to the director VV Luga: "We live here does not matter, cold and hungry, everyone is talking about the food around so the bread ... I sit at home and, of course, work and work, and that all our news".
B. Kustodiev. Province 1919
In addition, at this time the artist had serious health problems - in 1911 he was diagnosed with "bone tuberculosis," later in the spine a tumor, the disease has progressed, and at time of writing "The Merchant's Wife at Tea" Kustodiev was already three years confined to a wheelchair. Since then, according to the artist, his world was his room. But the more vivid the imagination. "Pictures in my head are replaced, like a movie," - said Kustodiev. The worse it became his physical condition, the brighter and more cheerful was his work. In this he found his salvation. Therefore, the allegation that in his pictures he intended to expose the pre-revolutionary petty bourgeois way of life, ironically on the merchant's wife pacified hardly have a real basis.
B. Kustodiev. Whitsunday 1920
In fact, "The Merchant's Wife at Tea" was not a merchant's wife, and present the Baroness. Very often models for bills of sale Kustodiev were representatives of an intelligent environment. This time the artist posed his neighbor in the home in Astrakhan Galina Aderkas - Baroness of ancient lineage, leading its history since the XIII century. At that time she was a student, a freshman medical faculty, but in the picture it looks much older and more impressive than it actually was. However, the author and do not pursue the goal likeness - it is rather a collective image, which becomes the personification of the whole of the county town.
B. Kustodiev. Merchant's Wife at Tea, 1918 Sketch
On the future of Galina Aderkas very little is known: according to some reports, she left the surgery sessions and began singing. In Soviet times, it is sung as a part of Russian choir music in the Office of Broadcasting Union Radio, participated in film dubbing. Traces are lost in the 1930-1940-ies. - presumably, she married and join the circus.
B. Kustodiev. Merchant's wife and house 1922
Kustodiev more than once returned to a favorite theme and wrote bills of sale. Until now last debate about whether it was an ironic pastiche of middle-class life or nostalgia for the irretrievably lost past. Judging by the special warmth with which the artist refers to his merchant's wife, these paintings have become for him an endless farewell with a happy youth and sweet heart of the world.