Many historians are sure that Kustodiev was no coincidence in the history of Russia. On many of his canvases, he recreates not only folk life, but also the special character of people of bygone eras.
We see an ordinary Zemstvo school, which is completely ordinary for that time. Seven boys work hard. Five of them learn to write with traditional feathers. They are as focused and fully immersed in this important activity. We feel that they are trying to do the job very well.
Before the teacher two more boys are represented. They kneel and read a book. It becomes clear that not all students study so diligently. Some simply need to be forced to do this. Probably, these two tomboys are thus punished for some offense they committed. On the right we see a teacher. He is strict and very serious. The viewer can feel that this person is really proud of his profession.
On the teacher’s desk is a book. But she does not attract his attention at all. All his attention is absorbed in what his students do. It seems that the kustodiev portrays a teacher who not only punishes students for pranks, but also praises for their obvious successes.
Zemstvo schools were especially valuable for the people, since the children of ordinary people could get an education in them. The artist depicts a school in which the atmosphere is strict, but at the same time comfortable. We see wooden furniture, and various simple utensils. Most likely, this is just a room in a hut. But everything blows incredible warmth. It is very important.
Kustodiev portrays high purity at school. The floor here, although unpainted, is rubbed to a perfect shine. The windows are perfectly clean. The light of the sun does not just penetrate into them, but flows in a special way.
The picture is dominated by brown and green tones. He manages to create a truly cheerful canvas. Kustodiev, as if telling us that education is very important in our lives. Worth coming to him with maximum responsibility at all times.
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