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The picture "Reapers" is another example confirming the significance of the image of the Russian peasant for Venetsianov. Similar peasants and the topic of harvest, we can notice in many of his other works.
While walking around the field, the artist was fascinated by the sight of two simple reaper peasants, admiring the beauty of butterflies reapers sitting on their hands. These were Anna Stepanova and her son Zakharka. It was they who then posed for the artist.
The first thing that catches the eye of many is the very butterflies that the village boy admires with bated breath. Alexei Gavrilovich depicted them in such a way that at first glance at the picture it is not immediately clear whether they are painted or real!
In the face of a boy looking over his mother’s shoulder, we can see rapture, endless interest in these motley butterflies. He is still very young and sees the whole world as one wonderful composition, each element of which I so much want to consider and learn.
Zakharka's mother tilted her head to her son and looks away, smiling condescendingly and easily. Facial features and her eyes express kindness, modesty and fatigue from hours of work.
With thick and confident strokes, the author creates peasant clothes: the mother has a white canvas shirt that has darkened from work, a yellow scarf on her head and a Russian dress made of shreds, and her son has a black plain shirt. The sickles in the hands of the peasants, and the freshly mowed ears of corn behind their backs, are created with the same strokes. All these items help to easily understand and imbue the plot of the picture.
The laconicism of the picture and the impression made by it are enhanced by the skillfully noticed Venetian details. It is enough to compare the tender wrists and hands of the mother and the rough weathered fingers of the son, or the heat on the face of a tired woman, or the ring and beads of a peasant woman, striving for beauty. The work literally absorbs the beholder, making you feel the atmosphere of bewitched contemplation.
New Planet Yuon