Painting "The Unequal Marriage" Basil Pukirev: Who is the bride, and how there was her destiny

• Painting "Unequal Marriage" Basil Pukirev: Who is the bride, and how there was her destiny

In September 1863 for the next academic exhibition in St. Petersburg broke out a real sensation. Thanks to its first major canvas Vasily Pukirev, yesterday graduate of Moscow School of Painting, immediately earned the title of professor of the Academy of Arts. Moscow and St. Petersburg were full of rumors that the picture painted in memory of the history of unrequited love. Except that someone? On this score there are still several versions.


The plot is very clear and does not cause any dual interpretations. Of course, the viewer's sympathy can only be on the side of the unfortunate girl - almost a child, her white dress as if the lights in the shadows of the church. It seems that in the web there are no secrets and mysteries. However, its prehistory remains still unsolved until the end. The artist depicted in the picture a few real people, saying that either too much, or too little. For example, each Pukirev artist Peter M. Shmelkov stands behind the bride and looking directly at the viewer; you can find there and head ramochnika Grebenskaya, the artist promises to make a frame for the picture "What has not happened." But the best man (far right figure), his entire posture expressing obvious dissatisfaction happening, certainly has a portrait likeness with himself Basil Pukirev. From the first days of the show rumors that this picture really tells about the personal tragedy of the artist, not abated.


However, according to one version, Basil Pukirev depicted in the painting of his friend love drama. Young merchant Sergei Varentsov was in love with the girl, but the parents prefer to give beauty a man 13 years her senior. And he crossed lovers were forced to play the role of the best man at the wedding, as was a relative of the groom's family. However, as the real creator, Basil Pukirev certainly gave drama to his work. The groom then over a young bride at least thirty years or forty. But then it is also an art to expose the vices of human society. In fact, the picture is "fired" precisely because the phenomenon of unequal marriages at that time was really sore common practice. This has already started talking in a society, as for those statistics is already concluded the majority of unions. In February 1861 even issued a decree of the Holy Synod condemns marriages with a large age difference, but it is the situation, of course, has not changed.


The fact that Sergei Vorontsov version has the right to exist, say a few things: First, it told in his memoirs his cousin Nicholas Varentsov. Secondly, on Save the sketch picture behind the bride and standing with his arms crossed Schafer, who Byron gimlet eye of the groom, but here clearly shows the other person is actually very similar to Sergei Varentsova!


This "replacement actors" attributed to the fact that by the time the painting situation other artists have changed. It is this life became a significant event not-tragic. Prototype tearful bride was very happy in his unequal marriage, and the young man after a year was going to make a proposal to the other decent woman, and their "participation" in the film as the star-crossed lovers found inappropriate. On this occasion, he even quarreled with Pukirev, and in the hearts of the supposedly best man pririsoval beard ... At this point, memoirist explains the resulting resemblance to the artist himself by chance, and here we come to the second version of the story of this picture.

It is known that the model, which drew Pukirev bride was Praskovya Varentsova Matveeva (here the coincidence of names with the hero of the previous version really random). She was the illegitimate offspring of a very noble family of the prince, who took part in her life. The fact that the artist was in love with her and proposed to her, wrote the famous Moscow life Giljarovsky descriptor:

"Comrade and friend V. Pukirev with young days, he (SI fungi) knew the history of the painting" The Unequal Marriage "and the tragedy of the author's life: the old important official - a living person. Bride next to him - a portrait of a bride VV Pukirev and standing with crossed arms - is itself VV Pukirev as a living. "- Gilyarovskii. "Moscow and Muscovites" NA Mudrogel, the oldest employee of the Tretyakov Gallery, taken on a more service Tretyakov himself, also recalled: "The painting Pukirev" Unequal Marriage "in the role of the best man for the bride artist depicted himself ... And in general, the whole picture, as I know, is an echo personal drama of the artist: the bride with the picture had become his wife, and did not become rich and noble old man ruined her life. "

It is possible that, fell in love with his model, the artist really made her an offer and was rejected by a noble family who chose to opt for the girls are more decent option. After that, the web really was autobiographical, and the young painter with his creativity, it seems, was able to predict the fate of the beloved joyless. This version has received unexpected confirmation in 2002, when the figure hit the Tretyakov Gallery in 1907 by the famous Moscow artist and teacher Vladimir Dmitrievich Sukhov. Pencil portrait of an elderly woman has been signed by the author himself:

"Praskovya Matveevna Varentsova, which 44 years ago the artist VV Pukirev wrote his famous painting" The Unequal Marriage ". Ms Varentsova lives in Moscow, Mazurinskoy poorhouse."


A pencil portrait Paraskevi Matveyevna Varentsova in old age

It turns out that even if the girl and was married to a rich old man, happiness and wealth to her to no avail. Basil himself Pukirev later wrote a few interesting pictures, but the success of his first paintings they are not repeated. The artist's life ended as bleak. His destiny become a lonely old age and poverty. However, the picture Pukirev seem to be able to do something that turned out to be beyond the power of the Holy Synod of the Decree. Public opinion is really condemned "sale" brides rich old men. Thus, Ilya Repin wrote that Pukirev "spoiled a lot of blood is not the same old general," and historian NI Kostomarov confessed to his friends that when he saw the picture, retracted his decision to marry the young girl. Although the problem of unequal marriages of convenience, perhaps, belongs to the category of the eternal.