Stoker - Nikolai Aleksandrovich Yaroshenko. 89 x 124 cm
After the abolition of serfdom, many peasants began to re-qualify as wage workers (proletarians). In Russia at that time, the working question became relevant for the first time.
Yaroshenko as an artist, a realist, subtly felt the mood of society and impeccably captured what was in the air.
The broad education of the painter, his not only emotional, but also intellectual sensitivity, allowed him to look at the world widely, to see what is hidden from the eyes of others. That is why he turned to the "working issue" in Russian painting first.
The non-verbal, figurative understanding of reality by the artist was reflected in this picture.
On it we see a stoker exhausted by his overwork. It is difficult for a modern person to imagine what hardships and hardships workers who lived in that difficult, full of hardships had to overcome.
Contemporaries noted the high moral qualities of Yaroshenko, his integrity. It is not surprising that he used his talent for such a noble goal as conveying the plight of workers to society.
On the face of the worker is written complete indifference, combined with some kind of animal obstinacy. It is clear that now he is tired, but when he rests, he will go to the end and his will not be broken. And those well-mannered and wealthy viewers who are now enjoying this canvas will still see, still feel this unbending pressure on themselves.
Reflections of flames are visible on a brick wall and make you remember hell. About the hell in which the workers live. About hell, which is destined for their tormentors.
Only transcendent fatigue prevents the manifestation of strong-willed qualities that are hidden in the soul of the stoker. After all, most of all he does not look like a hellish martyr, but a devil, tired of his duties and taking a moment to rest.