Picture “Female student”, Nikolai Yaroshenko – description

Description of the picture:

Female student – Nikolai Aleksandrovich Yaroshenko. Canvas, oil.

For a modern viewer who is little familiar with the realities of the 19th century, this canvas may seem too simple, even banal. But for the time of its creation, the theme of the picture is a real breakthrough, not only in art, but also in public, social life.

For many centuries, a woman was a “home” creature. It was believed that her mission was family, children, comfort and well-being of her husband and household. Women were not taught practically anything, except that aristocrats and the upper bourgeois knew several foreign languages, had good manners and were able to maintain small talk. The female limit is the ability to read and count a little – to the extent that is required for housekeeping.

But at the end of the 19th century, women became more and more independent and independent. They want to study on a par with men. In large cities, courses are gradually opening, whose visitors are called graduate students.

In society, such women are often treated with misunderstanding and prejudice, which is perfectly reflected in the picture of Yaroshenko. His student is a young girl, courageously and slightly scared, going to class. It was dank and dirty on the street, there was a small cold Petersburg rain, but the girl purposefully headed forward – to a different life.

She is very modestly dressed in dark, inconspicuous things, which betrays her social origin. Most likely, she is from the raznochintsy, which means she is not rich. She holds textbooks and notebooks under her armpit, that is, what she needs during her studies. The outfit is completed by a small black hat pulled low on the forehead.

The girl is very young, which only emphasizes her courage and determination. Her image is a symbol of the changes in society that have helped women reject age-old restrictions due to gender and the prevailing opinion as limited and not the most intelligent creatures.

That is why the master’s canvas became iconic in social art of the late 19th century."

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