The great Russian painter Ivan Kramskoy was one of the key figures in Russian culture in the second half of the 19th century. In fact, it was he who transformed the genre of portrait realism, becoming the ideological inspirer of many artists, thanks to him, Russian painting began to play with new bright colors.
A special place in the gallery of Kramskoy's masterpieces is occupied by the Pasechnik. The canvas was painted by a master in 1872. Since 1925 she has been in the State Tretyakov Gallery.
In 1874, Kramskoy presents a picture depicting a wise old man with silvered hair at the St. Petersburg exhibition of the Wanderers.
The beekeeper is absolutely not fussy, his figure personifies patience. Along with this, Kramskoy puts in the image of the old man a sense of harmony with nature, a desire to preserve it for the future generation. This is expressed in a touching, almost paternal attitude to his bees, the beekeeper fully puts his soul into his many years of work. He is accustomed to loneliness, life goes on according to the laws that only he knows. The light of the sun is concentrated on the face and the tired hands of the old man. A short beard, a real peasant cross over a shirt, bare feet, a key neatly hanging on his belt - details artistically noted by the artist complement the image of the hero. Behind the old man we see a path with an apiary. There is the labor of his whole life. A man is seen as the king of his mysterious bee world. The path, in turn, essentially divides the picture into two interconnected parts, separating the kingdom of bees from the modest solitude of the beekeeper.
Eduard Manet - Presentations