Although little is known about Mikhail Shibanov as a Russian artist in the second half of the 18th century, he left behind a cultural heritage. It is known about his connections with the almighty Prince Potemkin and the fact that he painted the iconostases. But he went down in the history of Russian art, thanks to his paintings “The Celebration of the Wedding Contract” and “Portrait of Catherine II in a Camping Suit”. In 1774, Mikhail Shibanov wrote the painting “Peasant Lunch”. This work was published during the Pugachev uprising.
The peasantry at that time was not yet touched by anyone and was even considered to some extent scandalous, since students of art schools were not even allowed to look at the peasants in order to spoil the "exquisite taste". Of course, the picture “Peasant Lunch” is far from describing the real life of the peasants, the work is solemn and embellished too much, but the artist himself should not be blamed if he described the real life of peasants in their everyday clothes, this could “offend the taste” of the audience that sounded like an aristocracy.
Therefore, it can be argued that Shibanov was placed in some framework and could not fully reflect his vision. But no matter what, behind the screen of festive costumes and a feast, mother’s motherly love for the child she holds in her hands, the sadness and thoughtfulness of the peasant’s grandfather, the crying Russian soul, all this shows the true side of peasant life.
The work “Peasant Lunch” is worthy of attention, if only because of the courage of the author, who, although in a somewhat veiled form, was not afraid to raise an acute problem, so the picture is of exceptional cultural value and deserves positive reviews.
Painting Arrived on Resetters Holidays