News from the homeland - Leonid Osipovich Pasternak. 110 x 152 cm
The picture depicts three characters in a small simple room of the barracks. One of them is lying, smoking a cigarette, the second is sitting on the bed at his feet, the third is sitting next to him on a simple wooden unpainted stool. All three are soldiers, two in bed are in full uniform, the third, reading the letter, is dressed in uniform trousers, boots and a white loose shirt with wide sleeves.
The room with whitewashed walls is sparse furnished, a rude soldier’s blanket lies on the simple bed, and the walls are decorated with pictures cut from magazines, paper icons and photographs sent by relatives. From the window you can see the inner parade ground, surrounded on all sides by the same faceless whitish barracks.
The life of a soldier in those days was a heavy burden, because they “shaved” for about 7 years, and this meant for a family man to part with his family and friends, children for a long time - leaving the baby as a baby, he returned home and became a stranger to the child, because the main years of the baby's development passed without a father. But a century earlier, the service life was 25 years, and before that it was completely life-long!
Judging by the expression on the face of the soldier sitting on the bed, the letter is addressed to him and the news from the homeland is completely disappointing. The fact that another person is reading it indicates that the soldier is illiterate. He holds an envelope in his hands, deep in thought, lost in himself.
Particular attention to detail allowed the master to emphasize the peculiarities of the life of soldiers, because in this picture, besides three living people, there are a lot of other images - each picture on the wall is a historical section, a reflection of the reality of that time.
The artist created expressive images, choosing a sufficiently prosaic theme for the picture, but managed to breathe life into his characters, made them truly expressive and memorable.