The famous Russian artist Boris Mikhailovich Kustodiev was keenly interested in the history of his homeland. And not just interested, but in his paintings recreated the way of life and customs of Rusich. Its historical portraits are known. No less famous is the painting “The Zemstvo School in Moscow Rus,” written by the artist in 1907.
The picture shows an ordinary Zemstvo school. In old Russia, the arrangement of schools was such that 6 to 12 pupils were assigned to one teacher. Here, too, we see seven boys who are diligently studying literacy. Five of them sit at the table and carefully deduce the letters with feathers. The faces of the guys are concentrated. It is evident that they are striving to learn the basics of the sciences.
But another group, depicted in the picture, says that not all children are diligent in their studies. Two boys kneel next to the teacher and read the book. They are probably punished for disobedience. Maybe they were punished by a strict teacher for negligence. The teacher himself is shown in the picture on the right. He is sitting in a state under the images. All his pose and face speak about the seriousness of the deed that he performs. An open book lies before the teacher, but he does not look at it. He closely watches everything that his students do, ready at any moment either to praise for diligence, or to punish for sloppiness.
In Russia they realized the importance of reading and writing, and therefore they tried to give the children education by sending them to the zemstvo schools. The development of the school was given no small importance. The situation in the Zemstvo school, depicted by Kustodiyev, though strict, is surrounded by some kind of warmth. This heat radiates a tree from which everything is made all around: both the floor, and the walls, and the ceiling, and unobtrusive furniture. The school is amazingly clean. An uncrushed wooden floor is rubbed to shine. From the small windows, the sunlight pours. Reflecting from the rubbed floor from the smooth surface of the table, it floods the entire room, making it seem cozy. A cat sleeps peacefully on one of the windowsills.
The picture is a lot of green in different shades. BM Kustodiev loved this color. It creates an impression of peace and the dimension of school life, where there is no room for vanity and laziness. Knowledge carries light, which is so much on the canvas. BM Kustodiev managed to show the importance of teaching. This is understood by the teacher. This is understood by the children.