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In fact, Kustodiev was quite interested in the image of merchants. He painted their portraits in all sorts of ways, under the strangest interiors and in various poses, naked and dressed up.
It is, of course, worth noting that there are a lot of paintings with merchants, but the most successful and unique in its harmony and completeness of the image is undoubtedly “Tea Party”. Please note how everything in this picture, mainly due only to its image, harmoniously intersects one another.
On the balcony, at the dining table, there is a dressed-up, simply huge, fat-sized merchant, with a table breaking from treats. In this picture, the image of the merchant woman is completely beaten by herself, and carries a great semantic load in the picture. Small minor nuances that give integrity to the image and completeness of the picture.
Like, for example, a cat who rubs against the hostess’s big shoulder, but she’s unshakable. Behind her large back, the city is beautifully depicted, with churches and shopping malls. And this still-life of all kinds of bakery products, inconceivable for a simple inhabitant of that time, tea is poured into fine porcelain, and in the center of the table is a handsome samovar and, oddly enough, a watermelon.
At the time of writing the picture, there was a terrible famine and devastation, so such a picture, it’s just a cry from the soul, this is a dream that he embodied on canvas. Kustodiev tried to show the whole essence of the merchant, with some irony. All his paintings are distinguished by cheerfulness, and a share of healthy optimism. A great attempt to ridicule and show us one day from a thoughtless, but well-fed, sometimes even too much life.
There is nothing superfluous, the whole picture is quite accurately described, a good combination of colors and two plans, front and back, respectively. Accessibility and ease of understanding of this picture is amazing, the artist gave his best.