The painting by Vladimir Makovsky “On the Boulevard” touches upon a problem that was urgent in the last third of the eighteenth century in Russia. After the liberation of the peasants, many of them, unable to find a way to feed their families in the village, left to work in the city. Big cities, of course, left their mark on people, sometimes changed them beyond recognition.
The painting depicts a man and a woman sitting on a bench on the boulevard. The woman came from the village to the city to visit her husband. It can be seen that the man has been living and working in the city for a long time in order to earn money and send it from his family that remained in the village. Urban life has changed the man a lot: he is dandy, contented, sits in an imposing pose and plays the harmonica. A woman is the exact opposite of him: feeling uncomfortable in a big city, she is amazed at the change that has happened to her husband. Not paying attention to her husband, she looks indifferently into the distance, and ashamed of him, and regretting the loss of a kindred spirit, and realizing her uselessness for this person.
An autumn cityscape is depicted in the background. Spots of snow, gray skies and bare trees add even more drama to the picture.
Year of painting: 1887.
Dimensions of the painting: 53 x 68 cm.
Writing technique: oil.
Genre: genre painting.
Gallery: State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia.