This small canvas is imbued with an atmosphere of fascinated contemplation. Breathlessly, admiringly and carefully, the village boy looks at two beautiful butterflies that have crouched in the hands of his mother. And she slightly tilted her head toward her son, looking away wearily and calmly.
On this canvas depicts Zakharka, the hero of several paintings by Alexei Venetsianov, and his mother Anna Stepanova. By the way, it is Zakharka that the artist will make a prototype of one of the church icons he painted for the Church of the Intercession. This icon is still in the church of the village of Pokrovskoe.
The composition of the picture “Reapers” is laconic: the half-figures of the heroes are large and close to the frame itself, and the background is a solid wall of ears. The faces and hands of the characters are voluminously written out, the outlines of their heads seem to be repeated by open circles of sickles. A rough cloth of Anna Stepanova’s clothes is written in thick strokes: a sarafan, a white shirt, a yellowish headscarf, and modestly modest decorations-a necklace and a ring. The artist accurately notices the different tone of the skin of the female wrist and the weather-beaten hands of a teenager, correctly prescribes chiaroscuro on the faces of his characters.
With obvious sincere sympathy, he paints an inquisitive Zakharka, depicts a shy caress and warmth on his mother’s face.
In the film “Reapers” Venetsianov does the so-called picture-a snag – he depicts butterflies so illusory that at first glance the work does not understand whether they are painted or, perhaps, they are actually sitting on the surface of the canvas.