Vasily Grigoryevich Perov

Vasily Grigoryevich Perov

Tea drinking in Mytishchi, near Moscow. 1862 year. Oil on canvas, 43,5 47,3 cm. State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow

Vasily Grigoryevich Perov

Vasily Grigorievich Perov – a wonderful Russian painter and one of the organizers of the Association of Wanderers. He is a well-known author of historical genre paintings, imbued with compassion for the people, and psychological portraits. Looking at his paintings, one can learn a lot about the life of the peasants of the nineteenth century.
Russian artist Vasily Grigorievich Perov was born in Tobolsk on December 23, 1833. His father, Grigory Karlovich Kridener, was a prosecutor, possessed several foreign languages, and also was fond of art. At the time of the birth of the child, the parents of the future artist were not officially married, so the boy did not have the right to carry his father’s surname. He received his surname on the godfather – Vasiliev.

Little Vasily learned to read and write very early. He was trained by the local sexton, who, for his successes in calligraphy, nicknamed him Perov. Subsequently, this nickname was accepted by the artist as a family name.
Interest in painting Perov showed at the age of nine, and his parents, in turn, encouraged his hobby. After studying for three years in the district school of Arzamas, in 1846 Perov entered the famous art school of A. V. Stupin, which he never finished. He quarreled with his comrades, went to the village to his parents and did not come to school any more. But he did not give up painting classes.

TRAINING IN THE SCHOOL
His teachers were E. Ya. Vasiliev, AN Mokritsky and S. K. Zaryanka. After a while, Perov, because of the poor material condition, almost abandoned the school. In difficult times he helped Yegor Yakovlevich Vasilyev. The young artist was also helped by his friendship with fellow practitioners, the famous Russian landscape painter I. I. Shishkin, and the outstanding genre painter I. M. Pryanishnikov, whom he had to wear one fur coat in turn. Despite all the difficulties, Perov continued to study hard.
In December 1856, Vasily Grigoryevich was awarded the Second Silver Medal, and in 1860 – Minor Gold Medal.
“Sermon in the village”
This picture was a thesis by Perov. For her in 1861 the artist received a Grand Gold Medal and the right to travel abroad abroad for a public account. In the painting “A Sermon in the Village”, created in the year of the abolition of serfdom, when disputes over the relations between peasants and landowners did not cease, Perov painted a scene in a rural church.
It is noteworthy that the priest gestures with one hand gesture, and the other with a fat and untidy landowner who has dozed off in his armchair. A young lady who sits next to her does not even listen to the sermon. She is immersed in the words that the local dandy whispered in her ear. To the left we see the peasants in a ragged apparel. They listen to the priest with grief and disbelief, and he, in turn, inspires them that all power is from God.
Immediately after the academy, his works “Sermon in the Village” and “Rural Priest” were written.

Vasily Grigoryevich Perov

Rural procession on Easter. 1861 year. Canvas, oil, 71.5 89 cm. State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow


“Rural Easter Procession on Easter”

On the canvas “Rustic procession on Easter” we see a gloomy rural landscape, against which depicts a drunken procession with images after the festive Easter service. Tough and realistic.
Perov communicates not so much the physical as the spiritual squalor of these people.
Especially struck by the contrast of the meaning of the rite and the almost animal state, to which a person can descend.
The painting caused official criticism of the church.
It was withdrawn from the exhibition of the Society for the Encouragement of Arts, banned for display and reproduction.
“Tea drinking in Mytishchi, near Moscow”
The usual scene of tea drinking under the shadow of a tree at the first sight becomes Perov’s basis for an accusatory, sharply social picture.
Turned by an angle to the viewer, the table with the samovar standing on it divides
in half a cloth. In the same way, the world of the heroes of the picture is divided into two parts: on the one hand we see a fat and well-fed priest, and on the other hand a beggar and an old man. The general impression of social injustice is strengthened by the Order of the Hero of the Crimean War on the old man’s chest. In addition, the idyllic landscape of the background and the circular rhythm of the painting composition serve as the embodiment of the idea of ​​the need to restore justice.
“Amateur”
This work is written with Perov oil paints on canvas.
The picture “Amateur” clearly stands out among the artist’s works on his inner filling. The canvas, unlike other satirical works of the author of that time, is imbued with a kind, mocking overtones.
The painting depicts an amateur artist who smugly considers and arrogantly evaluates his still unfinished work. Next to him is the wife, she is holding a sleeping baby in her arms and, allegedly looking at the picture, is trying to give a true assessment of the created creation.
The artist’s workplace is located in a rather gloomy room. Falling from the window daylight does not light the easel, but highlights the self-satisfied face and the figure of the “artist”. This Perov showed the wrong “organization of the workplace” beginner painter.
It is worth noting that when writing the painting “Dilettante” the master used a non-traditional color scheme for him: instead of the prevalence of yellowish-greenish tones, the main place is occupied by dark purple. It is believed that Perov did it intentionally, to distinguish this work among other satirical and deeply psychological pictures.

Vasily Grigoryevich Perov

The arrival of the governess in the merchant’s house. 1865 year. Wood, oil, 44 53.3 cm. State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow

TRIP TO EUROPE
In early 1863, Vasily Grigoryevich went on a business trip abroad. Perov visited Germany, and then France. For a year and a half, which he spent in Paris, there were created small etudes, the most characteristic of which were “Blind Musician”, “Savoyar” and “Sharman”.
“Sharman”
In the center of the picture is the image of a city organ-grinder, who, sitting on a stone bench, looks thoughtfully into the distance. Probably, he is trying to understand what awaits him in the future, how people live and how he will have to earn more on his bread. Next to him on the bench is his old

barrel organ, which brings him more or less stable income.
Perov managed to convey the thoughts of the organ-grinder surprisingly deep through the position of his hands and head, through a glance from the world, and also through the image of the features of his clothes. In addition, the artist accurately felt the state of the organ-grinder, portraying it with his head propped up with his finger on his lip. The entire image is harmoniously complemented by deep eyes and a diffused look.
In the background, we see a half-ruined, stone-paved wall – a wall of former abundance and unfulfilled hopes. The fate of the organ-grinder repeats the fate of the nearby building, and he thought deeply about his life. Perhaps, a man faces a difficult decision that can significantly change his fate.
“Savoyard”
Perov was abroad for about two years, but soon he realized that writing a picture, “without knowing either the people, nor his way of life, nor the nature,
not knowing the types of folk, which is the basis of the genre, “is almost impossible, although he used” a lot of time to visit festivals, balls, markets, squares with free performances where there are always large crowds of onlookers. ” Therefore, for everything that was done to them in France, Perov looked only as “works to develop the technical side of art”.
He searched for the characters of his future paintings among the poor in Paris, most often his attention was attracted by street singers and organ-grinders, conjurers and gymnasts in the show booths – wonderful artists from the people, true exponents of the French national character.
However, the artist was not guided by simple curiosity, it was not by chance that the most successful were those works in which he set new psychological tasks for himself. To their number, of course, belongs this picture, the hero of which is a small tramp. Surely he is forgotten by everyone, he is alone in a huge city. Clutching a monkey, he sleeps on the threshold of the house in front of a tightly closed door.
The person standing in front of the picture picks up a feeling of pity and a sense of acute injustice. Why does not the cruelty of the world bypass anyone, even children? ..

Vasily Grigoryevich Perov

A blind musician. 1864 year. Canvas, oil, 55,5 48 cm. State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow

“Blind musician”
In a tired blind man, a wandering musician singing to the accompaniment of his primitive folk instrument, the artist saw a spiritual artist. His image, painted in a soft, delicate manner, is conveyed by the artist with love, and this is emphasized by a strict, noble combination of brownish olive and muted pink tones.
In Paris, Perov really improved the technical side of his skill, overcame the narrative, so characteristic of his early paintings, he learned to subordinate the private to the general.
RETURN TO RUSSIA
In 1864, Perov returned ahead of schedule to Moscow from a foreign business trip. The artist believed that it is impossible to write pictures of people’s lives without knowing the life of the country.
Vasily Grigorievich, like many young and educated people, imbued with the spirit of the national liberation movement, dreamed of escaping from the vulgar petty bourgeois way of life, of which the Church was an integral part. Perov was not against faith, but against the bureaucracy, where reign bribery, vanity and self-interest reigned.
The 1860s are rightfully considered the period of Perov’s creative career. In his new paintings, the artist focuses on dramatic collisions, which are too much in modern social reality.
A feature of Vasily Grigorievich’s creativity is that he wrote stories about the life of the heroes of the paintings. Pictures with great success exhibited at the World Art Exhibition in Paris.

“Seeing the deceased”
This picture was very popular with the artist’s contemporaries. Perov received for her the first prize from the Society for the Encouragement of Arts – one of the central exhibition organizations of the country. The painting has visited many exhibitions, both in Russia and abroad.
It can be confidently asserted that among all his works the painting “Seeing the Dead” takes a worthy place. Perov created it in 1865, after the earlier term returned from a trip abroad.
All the characters in the picture are united by one grief. Both the poor mother and the children seemed frozen. The widow’s impotent hands lie on his knees. It seems that she does not have the strength to straighten her bent back and lift her head bent over her chest. It is striking that Perov practically did not show the woman’s face, but the torment of her suffering, like a current, picks up the viewer.
The boy in his father’s sheepskin coat and hat, which had slipped into his eyes, was completely exhausted, as if frozen with fatigue, from the consciousness of his misfortune. Perhaps, he has for ever lost the childishness of his feelings. The girl embraced the poor, hastily coffin. This last caress of the child makes the viewer feel a pity feeling for the orphaned family.

“The arrival of a governess in a merchant’s house”
This canvas, as well as many other works of Perov, paints the plight of people forced through hired labor to continually find themselves in a humiliating position.
In the 1860s, Russia stood on the road to becoming a capitalist country, and the new owner of life – a merchant, a manufacturer, a wealthy peasant – became close to the former ruler, the landlord, seeking to take his share of power over the oppressed people.
In front of the viewer there is a clean, bright room, lace curtains, wallpaper with golden stars, garlands of greenery, polished furniture. But the feeling that all this is just a decoration, not a real life at home, does not leave.
In the center of attention – a modest young girl dressed in a dark brown dress. She has a reticule in her hands, from which she takes out a certificate for the title of a home teacher. Her slender figure and delicate profile contrasts strikingly with the outlines of the squat figures of the merchant family, whose faces show curiosity, surprise, suspicious malevolence, and a cynically smug grin.
Probably, it is not easy for an intelligent, educated girl in this family, and, most likely, having fought for a while with merchant children, she will run away from them as far as possible.
“The Gitarist-Bean”
Creative positions and in the artist’s works developed at an early age. Later, being a pensioner of the Academy of Fine Arts in Paris, he did not change his commitment to the subjects and images that he drew from everyday people’s lives. This is how the type of Perov’s everyday picture was determined. This is a small in size, a single-figure picture, a kind of artistic novel about a person or about the type of person with his way of life and destiny.

Perov’s canvases particularly showed sympathy for the unsettled people, both in everyday life and in the spiritual plane. Written on his return to his homeland “Guitarist-bean” – the most touching work of Perov of this kind.
Gorgeous technique, a noble range of gray-ocher shades give the image on the canvas a profound character. Marked with warmth, this chamber picture is full of high humanism.

Vasily Grigoryevich Perov

Sermon in the village. 1861 year. Oil on canvas, 69,3 59,3 cm. State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow

THE RING OF THE ACADEMICIAN
In 1866 Perov received the title of academician. The best works of this period: “Drowned woman”, “The last tavern at the outpost”, “Three. Master students take water. ”
“Troika. Pupils are artisans
VESUT WATER »
Children are active participants in the actions of most of Perov’s works. I must say that Perova did not take the prosperous life of the children of the privileged classes. He showed really terrifying conditions, in which the beginning of the life of a simple Russian man.
“Troika”, or, as the author himself called it, “Master craftsmen bring water”, belongs to the most famous master paintings.

The viewer opens a winter blizzard. On the snow-covered road, three children, in old sheepskin coats, most likely from someone else’s shoulders, and leaky boots, are dragging a huge barrel of water on the sled. The chilling and gusty wind tears the snow from the roofs, pulls on the matting, which covers the icy barrel, stabbing the face and hands with sharp needles. How faint and distant is the light glowing in the small, barely perceptible window!
These children, probably, are rural and have only recently come to Moscow for fishing. But how they already had time to suffer! The desperate suffering, the marks of the eternal beatings are artistically depicted by the artist on their tired, pale faces. Rags instead of clothes, exhausted poses, exhausted eyes – everything tells of the uneasy life of children. Perov wrote images of children especially carefully, lovingly, carefully. He managed to put into them all his warm sympathy for the poor people.

“Pure Monday”
The painting “Net Monday” depicts Moscow’s Philemon and Baucis, who return home from the bathhouse with brooms under their arms and a bundle of bagels in their hands. Ruddy faces of this couple say that the time spent in the bath was not wasted. They look rested and peaceful. “They got together, now would be for the samovar”, – probably, the old people think.
“The Drowned Man”
This work deeply affects the feelings of viewers, because the picture through the prism of tragic circumstances shows a soulless and indifferent attitude of people to what is happening.
The drowned young girl depicted on the canvas evokes sincere sympathy. The young life, ruined in vain, and the cold indifference of the gendarme, his indifferent attitude toward what happened as a prosaic event gives rise to a sharp bewilderment.
To create the most plausible image of a drowned woman, the artist was looking for a model in a city morgue. During his search, he accidentally discovered the body of an unhappy young model, which he wrote several years ago for his next job.
In his painting Perov tried to convey not so much the problem of social injustice as the internal qualities of a person, in this case his immorality, ignorance, indifference, indifference and disbelief.
“The last tavern at the outpost”
This period is marked in the works of VG Perov by a number of stylistic changes: the artist in his works departs from the abundance of characters and sharp accusatory characteristics. The painter’s palette becomes more complex, and the unfolding of the story takes place along the path of a more generalization and drama.
In the gloomy light of a cold winter evening against the backdrop of the setting sun, it looks ominous
the royal eagles of the outpost. The windows of the tavern glow dimly, where the peasants who arrived in the city drank their money for the day.
Under the pressure of a strong wind, a figure of a man crouched in a sleigh chilly. This is a peasant woman waiting for a spoiled husband. The space of the picture is very tragic, dark gray and brown tones, imposed by expressive strokes, enhance the feeling of anguish and despair. There is no gleam, only picks up to the bones the icy coldness in this desolate, gloomy place. The mature creativity of the artist is full of deep compassion for man as a victim of cruel social injustice.

Vasily Grigoryevich Perov

The arrival of the governess in the merchant’s house. 1865 year. Wood, oil, 44 53.3 cm. State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow

Fomushka-owl
If we talk about the achievements of Perov, then in this period of creativity they are associated primarily with the portrait. In this picture one of the most remarkable and penetrating images of the Russian peasant of post-reform time is given.
Expressed so old-fashioned colors, simple design, the mood of Perov’s portrait will always be relevant at all times.
PROFESSOR’S RING
“The Birds”
In 1870, the artist finished work on the painting “Birds”, for which he was awarded the title of professor.
The same year was the most difficult in Perov’s personal life: in one year his wife died
and two older children. One youngest son survived. The pain of loss took all the strength from the artist. He seemed to have lost faith in life. Only friends, nature and rare bright memories could save.
He could no longer paint painting protests, so Perov turned to the daily life of a small man, to his simple cares and joys. Catching of birds in Russia was an old amusement. Very sincerely and artlessly wrote “Ptitselov” Perov.

Later in the autumn, when the gusty wind now and then knocks down, the retired soldier in the worn outcoat lies near the tree, and next to him is a concentrated boy who looks like the artist himself in his childhood. There is a feeling that a trill is about to crackle, and a bird with yellow specks on dark wings will fly from branch to branch. Maybe she will look at the full grain trap, go down to her, look closely – and once, already hit the net!

Vasily Grigoryevich Perov

Sleeping children. 1870 year. Canvas, oil, 53 × 61 cm. The State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow

“Sleeping children”
This canvas is among the best works of the author and is highly appreciated all over the world not only by professional critics, but also by ordinary art connoisseurs.
From the first glance, the picture takes the viewer to a typical rural life. The plot is very simple and simple, which gives the picture a special charm. The main actors of the work are barefoot peasant children who sleep on straw in some old shed.
If you look closely at the picture, you can note with what care and frugality all the details are drawn. Immediately it becomes clear how much the author loves what draws, and even a person who does not understand very much in painting involuntarily begins to be touched, looking at the touching heroes of the picture.
This picture is an excellent example of the Russian school of realism and can serve
a tool for studying and mastering the technique inherent in this direction in painting.
CELEBRATION OF PEROV’S CREATIVITY
The period of the 1870s brought about some changes in the artist’s work. Perov turned to the portrait genre. They created portraits of representatives of the Russian intelligentsia and, of course, the famous painting “Hunters at Rest”.
“Hunters at halt”
Perov was a passionate hunter.
At the end of his life he even worked in the journal of the publisher Sabaneeva “Nature and Hunt”. The most important thing in “Hunters at halt” is the psychology of the actors.
In the center of the picture, against the backdrop of the autumn landscape, is a group of hunters. It is evident that they are satisfied with themselves, since they have already obtained trophies. An elderly hunter, most likely, talks about his tremendous hunting successes. His eyes are burning, it is clear that he is putting his whole soul into his story.
The second, a young hunter dressed with a needle, listens attentively. It is evident that he believes every word of the interlocutor.
Behind all this, the peasant half-lying in the center watches incredulously. His smile embodies the whole sobriety of the people’s mind.
The picture is interesting also by a combination of several picturesque genres: here and a household scene, and a landscape, and even a still-life. Perovym masterfully outlined hunting equipment: guns, horn, as well as trophies – carcasses of hunted hares and ducks. The landscape itself is filled with the poetry of Russian autumn. In this picture, a comic plot and a dramatic landscape are brilliantly woven.

“Portrait of FM Dostoevsky”
Portrait of Perov Russian writer FM Dostoevsky Kramskoy called one of the best portraits of the Russian school of painting. This “Portrait of FM Dostoevsky.” a portrait was created at a time when Dostoevsky was working on the novel The Possessed.
The psychological drama of a work is the contrast between a focused, frozen face and tightly knitted fingers. It seems that they remember the shackles. The fact is that for participation in the revolutionary circle of M. V. Butashevich-Petrashevsky, Dostoevsky was sentenced to death, which at the last moment was replaced by hard labor.
Wife of the writer, A. G. Dostoyevskaya, said that Perov managed to catch a minute of creative meditation of the writer. It seems that Fyodor Mikhailovich seems to be “looking into himself.”
GALLERY OF IMAGES
Perov became one of the organizers of the Association of Traveling Art Exhibitions. Since 1871 Perov taught in
Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. His students were artists MV Nesterov, AP Ryabushkin, II Levitan, brothers Korovin.
Over the years, Perov created a whole gallery of portraits; contemporaries said that he, like no one else, managed to convey the mood of the model and character.
“Fishermen”
The painting is written with surprisingly vivid and vivid colors, creating a feeling of realism of the depicted fishing.
This story was chosen by Perov not accidentally, because he himself liked to fish and, like no one else, he understood the psychology and subtleties of this process. In addition, Perov liked to portray the life and customs of ordinary people in his works. The composition of the work is multifaceted: it is the image of an elderly fisherman in a hat, a place with many necessary attributes for catching fish, and the image of the second fisherman who sits nearby.
When you look at a neatly dressed angler, you may feel that the author has depicted in the picture not the peasant, as was often the case, but rather a well-to-do old man who has completely immersed himself in his favorite hobby.
The plot of the picture is permeated with a sense of harmony between man and nature, as well as the desire for a quiet enjoyment of this unity.
“Botanist”
In this period of creativity, the painter departs from the acute social themes in his works. In the seventies of the XIX century, the author, after the frustration experienced, turns to the eternally beautiful nature. The painting “The Botanist” was the continuation of the so-called hunting series.
In the foreground of this picture is the figure of an amateur-natural-leaf of middle age. He has a simple black hat, a white shirt and ordinary dark pants. The look is focused on the plant.
The author depicted his hero at a time when he came across another interesting plant. It can be seen that the hero of the painting has long been strolling around in search of interesting specimens: in his hand he wearily holds the cane, on his back there is a box full of various herbs almost to the top.
The color scheme of the picture is sustained in yellow-golden tones, only here and there break through the green-brown spots – the bunches of grass. Soft colors of the pre-dawn sky immerse the viewer in a relaxed state, immerse him in an atmosphere of splendor of Russian nature.

“The Dovecote”
In the painting “Pigeon” Perov portrayed a young man on the roof against the background of a blue sky, with his eyes directed upwards. The young man is enthusiastically engaged in “bird hunting”. This is a bright and optimistic picture, in which there is a mischief of youth, and summer warmth, and the joy of life, and, of course, love. It is no accident that on the old wooden roof in the foreground the painter depicts a pair of pigeons.
PUGACHEVSKY CYCLE
In the 70’s, Vasily Grigorievich Perov created a series of paintings dedicated to the revolt of Pugachev. This topic was inspired by disappointment, which came to replace the passionate impulses for the changes of the 1960s.
Paintings “Otpety” and “Old Parents on the Grave of a Son” became a “by-product” grandiose work on the works of the Pugachev theme.
“Inveterate”
the picture shows a simple guy from the peasant class, bound by thick ropes on the hands and feet. Strong body, simple clothes, lack of shoes emphasize its origin. It can be seen that he was forcibly dragged into the gloomy room: his shirt was torn on his shoulder.
Perov departed from the sarcastic notes peculiar to him: a good-natured person,
his gaze is on the offenders, his face shows that he is not deprived of the mind. But the protagonist does not arouse sympathy. Good eyes are crossed out by his bold grin, on his face – not a drop of despair or disappointment. It is evident that the character bears the charge of anarchism, he is ready at any moment to rush into the struggle and raise a riot, even if senseless and ruthless.
In this work the author reveals the greatness and power of the Russian spirit, but condemns his brutal, violent methods.
“Old parents at the grave of his son”
This picture, like almost all Perov’s canvases, continues the tradition of Russian realism. Close-up depicts the old men who came to the grave of their son. How painful to see that great sadness and sadness that engulfed the old people. there is no greater grief for parents than burying their children. Perhaps the old people are sad and that they were not with their son at a time when they could help to avoid trouble. And now, heartbroken, they spend long hours at the grave of their son.
The color scheme of the picture is unobtrusive, it does not hold in suspense, rather, on the contrary, it relaxes to a certain extent. Perov worked in great detail on all the small details of clothes and figures of the elderly. Even the grave of his son, though very simple in decorating and decoration, attracts the eye with some inexplicable sadness.

“Court of Pugachev”
The canvas, depicting the court of the leader of the peasant revolt Emelian Pugachev over the landlords, is compositionally very complex and multifaceted.
The chaos depicted in the picture makes a hard, one might say even horrible impression on the viewer. In the center of the composition are captured captive landlords and noblemen, and in front of them are immobilized bodies of those executed. People loyal to Pugachev pushed the people to the background. And on the porch of the rich manor, Emelyan Pugachev himself, dressed in a red caftan, sits on the throne with an important air. He, as befits a “king”, is surrounded by his entourage.
The feeling of despair and doom pervades the picture. All the emotions that the artist painted on the faces of people clearly convey the spirit of that gloomy and bitter time.
LAST YEARS
At this time, the artist was looking for inspiration in Christianity, in particular in the Gospel. Perov believed that in Christian culture and true faith he would be able to find answers to the questions of the unfair system of society.
“Descent from the Cross”
On the canvas Perov captured the moment when Christ was only removed from the cross. Its outline
are seen in the background. The body of the Savior lies on the ground, it is pale and lifeless. Meanwhile, the face is still painted with warm colors and stands out against the general background. A helpless, thin body with protruding ribs is hollow to the waist, but the lower half is covered with a sheet.
Christ is surrounded by three figures. A woman wrapped in a handkerchief holds her hand on her heart, she does not cry, but her expression reflects despair. According to the Gospel, the only female figure in this episode of the Passion of Christ could be the Virgin Mary. On the other hand, from the body on the knees stands a man – apparently, Joseph. His head is down, his eyes are closed.
Behind Christ, in a long cry, falling to the ground, another man is killed. The blood-red sky symbolically highlights the whole tragedy of this event.
In the last years of his life Perov really turned to the writing of works of religious themes, to the depiction of scenes from the Gospel. The author agreed that Christianity strongly influenced the essence of the national Russian character.
“The first Christians in Kiev”
The basis of this picture was laid historical events. The canvas depicts the first Christians who came to the territory of Ancient Rus. They did not have a permanent home and were forced to hide in gloomy caves.

The action takes place at night: a group of people who are close enough to each other to read Christian prayers.
They are not well-dressed, and the figure of a gray-haired old man, dressed in rags, stands out from the left side. In the center of the group in a black cassock kneeling is a priest with a long white beard. In front of him is a sacred book, hands stretched out, eyes half-closed.
Mystical mood is created by the light contrast of the canvas, on this effect the whole picture is constructed. People are surrounded by a mysterious twilight. The source of color seems to be sacred books: one is on the table in front of the image, and the second scroll is held by a young man with a girl. As a result, the viewer can clearly see only people filled with sincere faith, whose writings and prayers seem to be torn out of the pitch darkness.
“The dispute about faith”
At the end of the creative path, Perov turned to Russian history. He chose the theme of the religious schism of the 17th century, which arose as a result of the church reforms of Patriarch Nikon.
Nikita Pustosvyat, Suzdal priest, is one of the ideologists of the split. He was convicted and deprived of his dignity by the church council, held in 1666-1667.
In 1682 the schismatics took advantage of the rebellion of the streltsy in Moscow and demanded that the church return to the “old faith”. In the Kremlin, a meeting took place, where Nikita Pustosvyat appeared as the main speaker. In the center we see Nikita himself, next to him the monk Sergii with a petition, and on the floor Afanasy, the archbishop of Kholmogorsky, on whose cheek Nikita “sealed the cross.”
Also noteworthy are the leader of the streltsy Prince IA Khovansky, as well as the enraged princess Sophia, which was unpleasantly surprised by the audacity of the schismatics. the next day, Nikita and his supporters were executed on charges of indignation of the people. The painting was highly appreciated by the artist VI Surikov.
Vasily Grigorievich Perov died on May 29, 1882 at the age of 49 from tuberculosis. He was buried at Danilovsky Cemetery in Moscow.

Vasily Grigoryevich Perov