Painting “Sunday Reading in a Rural School” by Nikolai Bogdanov-Belsky is a bright moment in the life of a peasant community
Sunday Reading in a Rural School is a painting by Nikolay Petrovich Bogdanov-Belsky dedicated to a small episode in the life of a village community. A young man, dressed as a deacon, sits with an open book in front of the peasants gathered in the room. Among them are adults and children, men and women. All eyes are fixed on the reader, people try to catch every word of new knowledge. The figure of a tall, strong old man with a reddish beard deserves special attention. Leaning on the hilt of his stick, he furrowed his brows, lost in thought.
Closest to the viewer is a boy in a plaid shirt, with notes in his hands. Gathering on Sundays, the peasants often learned church hymns. The child looks forward to this lesson with excitement. In the background, by the tiled stove, is a young military man. Perhaps a retired soldier who returned to his native village.
A door is visible on the right, women in festive kerchiefs are crowding behind it. They didn’t manage to get their seats on time, but they still want to attend. The artist embodied in his work a scene familiar from childhood.
Name of the painting: “Sunday reading in a rural school.”
Author: Nikolai Petrovich Bogdanov-Belsky (1868-1945).
Year of writing: 1895.
Size: 97 x 54 cm.
Technique: Oil painting.
Location: State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg.
Nikolai Petrovich Bogdanov-Belsky – one of the famous Russian artists of the XIX-XX centuries
He built his path in painting on the canons of realism, trying to convey the simple beauty of the rural outback. As an active member of the Association of Traveling Art Exhibitions, he exhibited his works many times, which were eagerly bought by collectors and connoisseurs of fine art.
The painting “Sunday Reading in a Rural School” by Nikolai Bogdanov-Belsky received warm recognition from his contemporaries. With a fee from the sale, he was able to organize a trip to study in Paris, traveled to Italy and Germany. In our time, his famous work occupies a worthy place in the State Russian Museum.