Painting by Kramskoy “Mina Moiseyev”

I. Kramskoy painted a portrait of “Mina Moiseyev” in 1882, he was an etude to the canvas “An Old Man with a Bridle,” written the following year. The work was created in the village of Siverskaya near St. Petersburg.

As an outstanding portraitist, the artist tried to capture not only the external features of a person, but also display his character on the canvas. Indeed, the old man at Kramskoy turned out to be alive, it seems that he is closely watching something happening before his eyes.

The hero sits on a chair, yielding slightly forward, his arms crossed, he leans against his knees. It is not clear how old the peasant is, but it seems that he is very old. At first glance, his decrepit body still retains power and strength, and we see how hard-working his hands are. Surely he loves the land that feeds him and gives life.

The old man is sitting in a relaxed pose, he is dressed in a plain linen shirt of blue color, here and there on it are

visible holes. Long dark hair framed his wrinkled face, and a long gray beard completely concealed his mouth, but it seems that the old man smiles. His half-smile-half-grin is read in the eyes of the hero, in which mischievous lights skip. Although these eyes are difficult to see under the thick gray eyebrows.

The old man has the most usual facial features: a high forehead, outlined cheekbones, a large straight nose, perhaps he attracted women when he was young, his appearance can be called rather pleasant, rather than vice versa. Now he looks kind and nice old man, whose wrinkles do not spoil, they give his face worldly wisdom.

Surely his life was hard: work from dawn to dark, hungry bad harvest, duties, but we do not see a shadow of anger, vexation and hatred on his face. The old man’s look expresses simplicity, humility, kindness. This is not a humiliated and offended person, but full of dignity and independence. Despite his simplicity, he is intelligent, he was taught life, and he has knowledge of folk, passing from father to son.

Kramskoy often painted portraits of ordinary people, and these images embodied the image of the entire Russian people. Despite trials and tribulations, a simple Russian person always remains a generous person, kind, ready to help his neighbor and in this everything is the strength of the people.

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Painting by Kramskoy “Mina Moiseyev”