The painting Wanderer by Vasily Grigorievich Perov

Vasily Grigorievich Perov. Painting Wanderer, 1870
Vasily Grigorievich Perov. Painting Wanderer, 1870

“The Wanderer” is a painting by Vasily Grigorievich Perov, created under the impression of the appearance of an elderly beggar, in whose fate the artist took part.

The painting “Wanderer” by Vasily Grigorievich Perov: an image of noble poverty and human dignity

Before us is a man from the poorest stratum of society. This is evidenced by a tattered coat along the hem, torn and patched with pieces of different fabrics. The character’s knapsack is tied with ropes, and a faded umbrella is attached to it. A tin mug hangs on the belt. The stick, bast shoes and windings leave no doubt that the man leads a wandering lifestyle, but his beard and hair are clean and neatly combed.

The master used for his work a limited range of shades of brown and gray. His hero stands on stone slabs, next to the wall. Perhaps in the porch of the temple. The upper part is better lit, so the artist focused on the face, torso and hands. The pose of the old man is free, he does not ask for anything from others. But in the inquisitive look, the question is hidden: “Can you give me more than I have?”

Name of the painting: “The Wanderer”.
Author: Vasily Grigorievich Perov (1833-1882).
Year of writing: 1870.
Size: 54.7 x 89.5 cm.
Style: Realism.
Genre: Portrait.
Technique: Oil painting.
Material: Canvas. Location: State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia.

Vasily Grigorievich Perov is a wonderful Russian painter of the 19th century.

He painted in a realistic style, sought to reflect the truth of life. Among his characters are many people from the common people. Together with Alexei Kondratievich Savrasov and Ivan Nikolaevich Kramskoy, Perov took part in the creation of an association of traveling exhibitions, trying to acquaint a wide range of viewers with the best examples of fine art.

“The Wanderer” is one of the famous works created by the master under the impression of a meeting with the former serf Christopher Barsky. The hero of the picture was left homeless and without land after the abolition of serfdom, because for many years he worked at the master’s court. The owner sold the estate and went abroad, not caring about the fate of his servants. At the time of the meeting with the artist, the old man was 85 years old, and he spent more than nine years wandering.

Despite the hardships, the former servant categorically did not want to take alms and earned his bread by his own labor. Barsky impressed the painter with his respectable and noble appearance, so the master enthusiastically took up the brush to capture the image of the old man.

The painting “The Wanderer” by Vasily Grigorievich Perov earned the approval of his contemporaries. It contains a deep meaning, a subtle sense of psychology, the nuances of the difficult character of a representative of the poorest social stratum. The work of the author after his death found a worthy place in the famous gallery of Pavel Mikhailovich Tretyakov. Here it is exhibited to this day.

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