Portrait of actress P. 120x78
"The conscience of the Wanderers" was called by contemporaries of Nikolai Alexandrovich Yaroshenko. His art is full of pathos, imbued with the noble idea of the struggle for freedom and truth. The artist touches on the most acute, as they were called, “cursed questions” of the time, addresses themes from the revolutionary movement, depicts typical images of the best people of the era.
Looking at the portrait reproduced here, but not knowing who is in front of us, it is difficult to assume that the great Russian tragic actress Pelageya Antipievna Strepetova - her appearance is so simple, so restrained, almost ascetic the color scheme of the portrait, laconic drawing, strict composition.
A straight-haired, short woman in a dark dress with white cuffs and a collar is standing right in front of the viewer, lost in thought. Against the dark background of the canvas, her pale face with the seal of life's adversities and sufferingly clasped hands stand out sharply. “Her whole nervous nature, everything that is tormented, tragic, passionate in her is felt here in the portrait,” wrote the famous art critic V.V. Stasov.
Strepetova was a performer of such roles as Katerina in “The Storm” by A. N. Ostrovsky, Lizaveta in “The Bitter Fate” by A. F. Pisemsky. Heroes of Strepetova - whole, strong, deeply suffering natures, suffocating in the "dark kingdom" of wild morals. The actress’s game was perceived by contemporaries as a protest of a lively passionate soul against suffocating darkness and inhumanity.
This portrayed Strepetova and Yaroshenko. The image of a fragile modest woman is full of great spiritual nobility and purity, some special inner beauty that transforms her face. In a straight-standing figure, in the energy of clasped hands and tightly pressed lips, in a clear, glowing look from inside, one can feel a strong, decisive, passionate nature, ready for a sacrifice in the name of good and justice.