Vladimir Makovsky is known as a versatile artist. His paintings are always full of different emotions: humor, irony – the artist always expresses his attitude to what is happening. Makovsky tried to convey the life and life of the most diverse layers of Russian society as authentically as possible. His paintings could depict vagabonds, and beggars, and peasants, and artisans, and officials, and merchants, and nobles.
The painting “The Collapse of the Bank” was written during the period of the artist’s creative heyday. It shows the premises of the Moscow Loan Bank at a time when many depositors gathered in it, who hope to save at least some of the money they have invested.
Each character depicted in the picture is unique. Each has its own character, conceived by the artist – this can be seen in the person’s posture, his face, gestures. People react to the same event in different ways – the artist skillfully portrayed grief, anger, despair. Someone is indignant, someone is trying to find a way out and asks what to do, someone is desperate, and this can be seen on his face. On the left side of the canvas is depicted a grandmother, who became ill from such news.
The artist paid great attention to color. The canvas is made in cold colors: gray, blue, black prevail. The lighting is dim, soft. This coloring emphasizes the expressiveness of the faces and poses of the characters.
The originality of the plot of the picture speaks of Makovsky’s broad outlook, of his compassion for ordinary people.
Year of painting: 1881.
Dimensions of the painting: 68.2 x 104.2 cm.
Writing technique: oil.
Genre: genre painting.
Gallery: State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia.