Museums and Art

The painting "Hunters on a halt", Perov, 1871

The painting

Hunters on a halt - Perov. 119 x 183

In the works of Perov there is a period when the master avoids sharp social scenes. In the series of these works, the most familiar is precisely the picture of Hunters at rest.

In the center of the composition are three hunters, very different, but each of them is interesting and informative in its own way. The attention of two listeners was attracted by a passionate and fascinating story of an older, experienced hunter. In his pose, facial expression, eyes, holy faith in the truth of the story, which he decided to tell his comrades. Listeners also relate to the story in different ways. The young hunter eagerly absorbs every word of his experienced comrade, the third participant - a middle-aged man - is skeptical, he questions every word of the narrator.

If you carefully consider the composition proposed by the author, the idea becomes clear. The artist showed a certain life cycle: youth, eagerly knowing the world, absorbing it with faith in a miracle; then comes maturity and experience, when nothing is already taken for granted and questioned; maturity is replaced by old age, living in memories, constantly falling into the idealization of the past.

Behind simple and clear work is a deep content, philosophical and difficult. Critics have noted the wretchedness and tension that distinguish the surrounding landscape. An alarming sky, flying birds, faded grass - everything speaks of autumn, falling asleep, a premonition of winter. Why did the artist choose such a gloomy landscape to frame his painting? Most likely, it was important for the author to concentrate the attention of the viewer on the central figures of the picture, the background should not distract from the main thing in the work.

The heroes of the picture are real people, friends of the artist, who served as prototypes of hunters. As you know, the author himself loved hunting. Therefore, every detail of the picture is written competently. In the lower left corner of the picture we see a delightful hunting still life, which, on the one hand, organically fits into the overall composition, on the other hand, can very well be singled out in a separate work, written with remarkable skill and realism.

The light in the picture is concentrated on the faces and hands of the heroes. This old technique, from the Renaissance, allows the artist to more fully reveal the inner world of his models. All hunters are clearly pleased with the results of the hunt, as evidenced by the trophies pictured here. The artist depicted people of different social backgrounds, but all of them were united by hunting, made them forget about the realities of life and completely surrender to the ancient craft.

It is interesting that the artist again turned to this plot and created another picture for the Russian Museum. The second version of the plot is more schematic, simpler, the color scheme is simpler.

It is known that some critics accused the artist of the fact that the characters depicted by him express unnecessarily simulated emotions. However, having guessed the author’s intention, it can be considered quite justified. This technique allows you to more clearly describe the character and inner world of the characters, to reveal the symbolic component of the picture.


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