Painting by Makovsky “First Coat”

Vladimir Egorovich Makovsky is a magnificent artist, an unrivaled master of genre and everyday scenes. Since childhood, the young Makovsky was surrounded by creative people, since his father was one of the pioneers of the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. At the age of fifteen, Vladimir entered the art school, which his father founded. After another nine years, Makovsky himself became a member of the “Association of Traveling Art Exhibitions.”

The emergence of this creative group in the second half of the XIX century marked the birth of independent Russian art, free from academicism and rigidly established canons. “Association of Wanderers” united Russian realists, who in their paintings touched on the pressing problems of modern society.

Artists organized their exhibitions in various cities, carried out educational activities. The main place in the work of these brush masters was occupied by everyday scenes from the life of

ordinary people. Vladimir Makovsky as no other skillfully conveyed in his paintings cares and joys of the common man in the street, emphasized the finest details of everyday life, interior, costumes of heroes, their character. The picture “First Coat” Makovsky wrote in 1892, and it is a pretty illustrative example of the creativity of this artist.

It is worth noting that all the works of Makovsky are very realistic and clearly worked out. Contemplating the artist’s paintings, the viewer unwittingly becomes a participant in the events depicted on the canvas. It is quite justified to compare this artist with the director-director, who puts his characters on the stage, endows them with character, breathes life into them. Hardly having looked at a picture “the First tailcoat”, the impression is made that the heroes stand on the stage, theatrically standing in the most characteristic poses. So, what do we see? A small cozy room decorated in warm colors. In the center of the room there is a young man who tried on the first coat in his life. He is surrounded by household members who enthusiastically

evaluate his appearance.

Apparently, the image of a young man is unaccustomed not only to his close ones, but to himself. In the pose of the young man, a slight stiffness is felt, it can be seen from a slightly stooped back and awkwardly divorced in the direction of the elbows. The young man turned his head to one side and his eyes were fixed on a woman in a red cloak and black dress. We can only speculate, perhaps this is his mother. She thoughtfully tilted her head to one side, as if thinking about something, wove her fingers together. In her image there is some absent-mindedness, and maybe even a confusion from the fact that her child has already grown up.

Behind the young man is an elderly woman, most likely his grandmother. Raising her glasses, the old lady looks with curiosity at the black fabric from which the grandson’s costume is sewn. A long handkerchief will be put on her shoulders. A little farther away from them, with folded arms on her chest and leaning slightly forward, stands a young woman. A happy smile plays on her lips, dimples are visible on her cheeks. She looks at the young man with admiration, evidently she liked the new dress coat. In the background, near the door is a young maid. The girl also looks at the master in a new dress coat, but hides her emotions, covering her face with her hand.

The room in which this action unfolded is an exemplary example of the dwelling of the nobles of that time: the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. As already noted, the room is decorated in warm, mustard colors. On the left we see a low sofa, next to it there is a table with a lamp, a wooden cabinet. In the other part of the room was a large table, set with candlesticks and writing utensils. If we assume that this is the room of a young master, then, apparently, he is working at this table.

The walls of the room are hung with paintings, mostly in massive gold frames, this indicates that the owner of the room is keen on the art of painting and is his ardent admirer. The composition of the whole picture is carefully thought out, the viewer immediately sees who is the main character, who should be paid special attention to, and who only complements the existing picture is a secondary character.

The warm color scheme of this canvas is also very pleasant to look, the accents are arranged laconically and unobtrusively. One has only to be amazed by that indefatigable observance with which the author is endowed, to admire that ability of the artist to portray a simple everyday event as bright and alive. Vladimir Makovsky managed to show, it would seem, insignificant event significant and interesting, managed to captivate the viewer with his “picturesque history.”

Looking at the works of Vladimir Yakovlevich Makovsky, the viewer makes a short excursion into the past, as if he were falling through the era that the artist wanted to portray. The ability to consider in an ordinary family event – trying on a new tailcoat – the very psychological essence, to feel the characters of the characters and correctly display all this on the canvas – this is what provided the recognition and respect of his contemporaries and descendants to Vladimir Makovsky.

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Painting by Makovsky “First Coat”