Bogdanov-Belsky – “At the school door”

“At the door of the school” – a painting by the Itinerant artist Nikolai Petrovich Bogdanov-Belsky, painted by him in 1897, now adorns the State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg.

It belongs to a series of works by the artist dedicated to the folk school of S.A. Rachinsky, in which Bogdanov-Belsky was lucky to study on his own.

On this canvas, Nikolai Petrovich depicted a boy in rags, who does not dare to enter a class where his peers are sitting. This image reflected all the reverence of the common man for knowledge, which was often inaccessible to him.

The picture for Nikolai Petrovich also had an autobiographical subtext. He himself, the illegitimate son of a poor farm laborer, once stood on the threshold of the village school just as hesitantly, not sure that he would be admitted, even if his presence was noticed.

Was the boy lucky? Probably yes, since he himself served as the prototype of the hero for the author of the picture. So Bogdanov-Belsky, after a rural school, where his talent was noticed, was admitted to the Imperial Academy of Arts. Here he studied the subtleties of the fine arts from I.E.Repin himself.

This canvas also reflects the artist’s own belief that the talents that are hidden in the common Russian people will soon be noticed by educated people who are not indifferent to his fate, such as his first teacher, Professor S.A. Rachinsky.

Year of painting: 1897.

Painting dimensions: no data.

Material: canvas.

Writing technique: oil.

Genre: genre painting.

Style: realism.

Gallery: State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia.

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