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Surikov is a Russian painter who comes from a Cossack poor family. They tell him about his great-grandfather that, being a man of immeasurable power, he once pulled out a heavy raft from a river in a thunderstorm, which otherwise would have carried and destroyed. Surikov - famous for its historical paintings. “Boyar Morozov”, Suvorov Crossing the Alps ”- he wrote expertly, with great attention to historical details, with a long search for prototypes for the main characters.
Once, a friend of the artist, whom he proposed to look at the unfinished "Boyar Morozova", advised him to cut down a strip of snow below, which is still not needed. To which Surikov replied - “I can’t. Then the sled will not go. " His attention to detail was striking, and the desire for historicism, to convey the depth of the Russian spirit, was also felt in the portraits
"Monk" is one of them. It shows a middle-aged man in a monastic robe in profile. His hair is curly, his short beard is clipped neatly in shreds, his mustache hangs slightly, his eyes are straight, open and studying. As with all portraits, this emanates the feeling of the darkness of centuries.
As if the viewer looking at the picture looks into the monastic cell of the mossy ancient years, in which the monk sits at the chronicle. His face illuminates the light from the window and at the same time the inner light. He believes deeply, sincerely, but not stupid - just his faith is unshakable, like the earth on which his cell stands, as high as the sky that he looks at in the morning.
The portrait fits a whole life conveyed in one person - a hard life, close to the ground, and illuminated from the inside by a desire for something more than just a harvest of potatoes or apple trees. Life, striking, tolerated with humility, life, demanding and consisting of self-denial. Life chosen voluntarily.
Z Serebryakova At Lunch Description Pictures