The prisoner is Nikolai Aleksandrovich Yaroshenko. 107 x 143 cm
The picture "Nikolai Aleksandrovich Yaroshenko" Prisoner "depicts a prisoner in prison, who, climbing on a wooden table, looks at the sunlight passing through the bars.
The painter, as in many other works (Gypsy, Life Throughout), addresses social issues. He wants to show that the prisoner, even if he is in such conditions in which the cultural spectators of that time could not imagine themselves, is the same person as they are.
One can guess the author’s thought that all people have the same needs — everyone needs sunlight and fresh air, that is, joy and freedom. When you look at the canvas, you get the feeling that not a single person is separated from humanity and therefore everyone deserves respect and sympathy.
However, one should not see utilitarianism in the artist’s work. Nikolai Alexandrovich categorically disagreed with the idea that art was entirely intended to preach morality, and the aesthetic component in it was necessary only for a better assimilation of the moral principles that it seeks to convey.
Such ideas were characteristic of Tolstoyism, which, despite a friendly acquaintance with Tolstoy and Chertkov, Yaroshenko did not accept.
In the picture we see how morality, which the author, of course, encourages the audience to think about, is closely intertwined with the realism of execution: a subtle transmission of lighting, the accuracy of each stroke. We can confidently say that the master did not forget about the technique.
But more importantly, what the artist saw and tried to convey to us the peculiar beauty of the situation. It is important that the profile of the prisoner, despite the hardships encountered in the prison, still looks proudly.
Human dignity is still not lost, which means that there is hope that the prisoner will come out, return to normal life and, if he is guilty, will take the true path.