Description of the painting by Pavel Fedotov “The Widow”

Description of the painting by Pavel Fedotov “The Widow”

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The painting “The Widow” written by Fedotov has a very interesting history of writing, a plot different from other works by the master, and as many as 4 variants that have reached us!

The idea for the painting hit the head of the master in Moscow when he was tormented by the fate of his unfortunate sister Lyubinka. The fact is that a girl who during her husband’s life was completely not happy, but, having survived his death, remained pregnant alone with all her debts and poverty.

Not setting the goal of creating complex and loaded compositions, in all details giving an idea of ​​all the disasters that fell on the girl’s fragile shoulders, but wanting to express precisely all the sorrow and sadness that are visible in the pose and face of the unfortunate Lyuba. Everything that has already happened and was just expecting a girl can be guessed only by half-hints.

In a barely lit room, thinking and looking at the floor with sad tearful eyes, in a shy pose stands a young girl, although, rather, even a woman. She is wearing a black mourning dress, through which we can clearly see that she is in position.

But what in the picture makes us understand what happened and what awaits the widow? A lot of inconspicuous at first glance details. A portrait of the deceased husband, an uniformed officer, we see next to the icon on the dresser. A candle forgotten from night illuminates with a dim light a basket in which all the things of the poor girl are collected. On many other pieces of furniture, as well as on the door, wax marks are visible, which makes us understand that they no longer belong to her. The more we look at the silver, sealed objects and woman’s face drawn up on the floor, the more we feel all the poverty of the situation: when he died, the husband left multiple debts to his wife, which the girl was not able to pay. And so, she leaves this small but cozy apartment, losing most of her property. And in this frightening cold future, she needs to take care of the baby who is about to be born ...

Fedotov spent a long time looking for a girl with a face that expressed deep sorrow and grief, but in his opinion did not find what he was looking for. And although he was repeatedly congratulated on the magnificent picture, he was never completely satisfied with it. Nevertheless, thanks to the constant search for that ideal by the artist, we got as many as four paintings, each of which is bewitching and makes you wholeheartedly sympathize with the girl on it.

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