In the autumn of 1870, walking in the woods with his friend, Vasily Perov saw an old man lying on the ground, who silently whistled into the pipe, luring a bird, and next to him a boy. In Russia, birds were often caught at this time, so that in the winter they delighted their ears with their singing of the rumor, and on the Annunciation the little ones were released.
Returning home, Perov began writing “The Poultryman.” He remembered how, as a small boy, he also felt a thrill of perplexity, sitting in an ambush and waiting for, at last, a trusting ptaha would fall into the trap. So I wanted to listen to these simple trills in the winter.
The picture of the Birds turned out to be sincere and unsophisticated. Last twilight autumn denechki, the wind, flying in gusts, tears off the surviving leaves on the branches of the burnt leaves. But through the perennial naked trunks the morning sun breaks through, illuminating with its golden rays a small clearing and bird-birds.
A retired soldier, serving as a lackey in a landowner’s estate, lies by the tree, while a neatly dressed boy observes the bird, perhaps the son of a poor landowner, sitting next to him. The old man patiently waits, luring the bird into the snare, whistling on the whistle. He promised to catch ptahu for the child, and the boy closely watches the behavior of the bunch, trying not to lose sight of anything, keeping the cage ready.
The background of the painting was written by Alexei Kondratievich Savrasov. This is a bit dark forest distance, blurring in a haze of sunlight, where you can see a few birds when you look narrowly.
The faces of the characters in the picture are so vivid, and their facial expressions are so realistic that you can imagine how after a few minutes the bird-catchers catch the bird and then go home. Looking at the characters of the picture, the viewer seems to imagine that he is familiar with them and involuntarily empathizes with them, plunging into the world created by the painter.
For “Ptitselov” Vasily Perov was awarded the title of professor.
Today the picture of the Birds is not deservedly deprived of attention, it is not so popular with respect to other famous works of Perov, about it one can say one unit, nevertheless the composition plot can compete with such canvases as “Hunters at halt” or, say, the populist picture of “Fishermen” “, well known to many hunters, avid fishermen and even schoolchildren.