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Kustodiev turned to the image of ordinary women more than once. Entrepreneurial women breathing health seemed to attract him. Therefore, the artist’s collection contains a decent number of paintings on this topic. Among the whole array of canvases, the picture “Merchants” stands out in a qualitative way, where Kustodiev tried to convey the atmosphere of a medieval market. The canvas appeared in 1912 and immediately received a positive assessment of society.
In the center of the picture are four magnificent ladies and are talking about something. It seems that they are solving some important issues or discussing something. And one of them, the one in the yellow dress, demonstrates her lack of interest in the conversation - her attention is attracted by a good young man, standing somewhere far away. The smile of the coquette is clearly visible on the face of the young girl.
Three women, obviously older, discuss important matters. Their attire and hairstyles indicate that they have been married for a long time. It is worth noting that the artist exactly tried to convey the fashion of those times and from the picture you can establish the century that Kustodiev talks about.
In the background, the artist did not miss a single detail. The picture harmoniously combines various dishes, random passers-by and even absurdly hanging clocks in the window of one of the shops. Even such an inconspicuous element as grass, sprouted through a stone road, was not hidden from the gaze of the artist.
The canvas transfers the connoisseur of art in the Middle Ages, to the famous fairs that gathered in big cities - in Kharkov, Novgorod and Kiev. The picture is simply saturated with the spirit of this era. A separate praise to the artist should be said for the skillful use of paints, each element complements the other and forms a holistic picture. In a word, not a picture, but a sight for sore eyes.
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