AG Venetsianov – a well-known portraitist. His paintings were a discovery in Russian painting.
The artist showed the peasants in their daily life. He set out to present to Russian society people of labor, full of dignity and nobility. At the same time, the artist remained faithful to nature. Zaharka is the son of a peasant Fedul Stepanov, who was taken by VG Venetsianov into a courtyard from a remote village of Slivnevo.
When the artist first saw the boy, he was wearing a large hat and mittens, with an ax on his shoulder. Itself small, but seemingly important, businesslike. Well, straight peasant with a nail! From under the clumsy, fur-lined, now and then crawling on his face caps inquisitively looked great live eyes. They shone in the mind, firmness, kindness. A clear glance lit up and made an attractive ugly face with broad cheekbones, a short nose and very full lips.
Alexei Gavrilovich then immediately called Zakharka, talked to him and led him to his house. There he immediately began to paint a portrait from him. Poorly dressed village boy, serf by status, but not a shadow of shyness, dependence, but only the liveliness of the mind, human dignity, giftedness. Here it is, Russian peasant!