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Gerasimov worked on this masterpiece for a long 7 years. He began the picture at the turning point of 1943. At this time, the Nazis had already stopped. The partisans were avengers from the people who united the front and the rear. These patriots were not afraid of torture and threats.
In the center of his canvas, Gerasimov depicts a simple Russian woman. The fascists can not scare her. Behind her is her native land, which the enemies scorched and defiled. She is all covered in the blood of family and close friends. This land has become sacred patriots. And these are not just big words.
The Nazis were able to feel how powerful the anger of the people. The officer looks really pathetic compared to a real Russian woman. The artist deliberately focused all the fullness of colors and the brilliance of the sun on the figure of his mother. We see her strength and greatness, and behind her a conflagration burns. You can read suffering on your face. But we see an unshakable person who is not afraid of anything.
The image of a fascist contrasts sharply with this power of a Russian woman. There is no pronounced characteristic. If the figure is quite fragile, then the legs are crooked. His commanding gesture seemed to hang in space. The painter found the ideal turn of the head of the German in order to focus on the severity of the jaw and the gloominess of the forehead. From him something animal appears from this.
Gerasimov deliberately obscured everything that accompanies the main characters. Before us is only the mother and the fascist. Their figures are drawn in great detail. Other characters are just outlined.
In this powerful episode, the artist showed the courage of Russian people and the maximum stamina in a really great fight. People believe that the mind will certainly win, otherwise it simply cannot be.
Gerasimov embodied bright and deep optimism in this picture. Before us is a creation that surprises with monumentality.
Ilya Repin Pictures