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Makovsky is a Russian artist who adhered to the academic style and became famous for paintings depicting the somewhat idealized Russia of past centuries. Sometimes it is attributed to the Wanderers who opposed their own version of the Academy of Arts Academy and draw inspiration from folk tales and folk life.
A participant in the “riot of fourteen,” when the fourteen best graduate students left the Academy, protesting the attempt in a large competition in honor of its centenary, to impose one topic on them all and deprive of freedom of choice. The son of the artist, brother of artists and father of the artist.
"Holy Fortune-telling" is one of his typical works, praising the hoary antiquity. On it, in a small room, the girls started to guess at the grooms. They took grains, water, coins and a mirror, brought a proud rooster with a blue tail and sat down to see what the bird would reach for. If to grain and coins - the husband will be rich. If to the mirror - beautiful. If to water - will drink. There is cheerful curiosity on the girls' faces, everyone is drawn to see what the cock will choose.
One of them sits to the side, at the table, and looks sad. In front of her is a cup - perhaps it was dripped with wax and this girl had an unfortunate prediction. An old grandmother is napping, although she should have watched the girlish fun so that they would not disperse too much. In front of the images, a lamp burns in the corner, and on the stove there is a pile of pillows and feather beds. The picture is permeated with light, the girls' faces shine from within. They are vaguely similar, like sisters, and all are beautiful in their own way.
One laughs openly, the other hides her face under a scarf, the third leaned closer to the bird, her hair wrapped around her like a cloak. Red, golden, brown - from this gamut draws by antiquity, it evokes associations with icons painted on wood, and is very suitable for a scene from bygone days. A peculiar nostalgia is visible in the picture, as if the artist wants to return to where he had never been, and the same desire is conveyed to the viewer.
Arkady Plastov Pictures