Description of the picture:
Merchant’s family in the 17th century – Andrei Petrovich Ryabushkin. 1896. Oil on canvas. 143×213
The work of A.P. Ryabushkin (1861-1904) is entirely devoted to the history of pre-Petrine Russia. Thanks to the artist’s love for the life and culture of the 17th century, his close study of the ethnographic features of different lands of Russia, the situation of houses and costumes, as well as immersion in the original Russian traditions and customs, not broken by the era of the transformations of Peter I, the world of the past was recreated.
Family portrait of a Moscow merchant Ryabushkin was introduced as a group photograph familiar by the end of the 19th century. In the center of the canvas sits a stately merchant – the head of the family, depicted by the artist in a pose full of self-sufficiency and authority of a strong owner and successful trader. A smart merchant with a baby in her arms is friendly and sweet, despite her overly overbrowed eyebrows and her face painted according to the fashion of that time. The heroes of the canvas create a rather static composition, where only the liveliness of the child, gnawing kalach, introduces some dynamics.
The painter’s attention is focused on the exact fixation of clothing materials, the nature of the pattern and the decoration of the outfits. Studying the works of I. E. 3abelin and N. I. Kostomarov, working in the Historical Museum, Ryabushkin created a real, historically true illustration of the life of pre-Petrine Russia."