Student - Nikolai Aleksandrovich Yaroshenko. 60 x 87 cm
The artist depicted on his canvases people belonging to different social strata. This picture depicts a freezing student with a soulful and stubborn look.
No wonder it is this picture that is often used on the cover of the book Crimes and Punishments by Dostoevsky. It is evident that the student, firstly, is in great need, and secondly, he made some decision that he does not intend to backtrack.
Perhaps it’s harmless to finish his studies, despite the difficulties he will have to face. Perhaps he intends to ensure a comfortable life, having got out of the poverty he is in now.
The author’s and audience’s interest is not the accuracy of the image, but a kind of spirituality of the student’s face. It attracts the will of the will, the readiness to exploit in the name of some ideal, regardless of how he understands it.
Among Yaroshenko’s paintings there is not only “Student”, but also “Student”, which shows the author’s interest in this topic.
The picture is made in dark colors. The background is a gray-brown wall; contrasting with the student’s dark figure, she reveals details of his face and toilet.
The young man is not from a wealthy family, this can be seen from the brown blanket, thrown over a black frock coat and framing the student’s broad shoulders. A rich population could afford to buy a winter coat or a fur coat.
A sürtuk worn by a student was part of the uniform that, after the 1861 reform, was issued to all students. A neatly trimmed beard and long brown hair accentuate the student’s thinness and sharpness.
The aristocratic pose of the young man shows that he is going to use his intellectual abilities to move up the social ladder.