This characterful work is a portrait of a peasant girl from the area of R yazan and Nizhny Novgor od. She looks at the artist with a degree of unease and her crossed arms suggest feelings of hostility. Arkhipov's collaboration with The W anderers focused his desir e to paint the reality of Russian life. The purity of paint, the saturation of the primary colours used in this work and the intense emotional connection with his sitter ar e perhaps illustrations of Arkhipov' s desire for a purer vision of reality and social justice. Today his portraits of the peasant girls are amongst his most important and sought after canvases.
Oil on canvas
111 × 90 cm; 43½ × 35½ in.
Arkhipov was a Russian Realist painter. He was a member of the Wanderers as well as the Union of Russian Artists.
He initially studied at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture in 1877 and subsequently studied at the Imperial Academy of Arts in Saint Petersburg. He soon became dissatisfied with the Academy's system of teaching and returned to Moscow, where he would later spend many years as a teacher at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture.
In 1889 he joined the Wanderers (Peredvizhniki), an exhibiting society of Russian artists committed to art's potential to serve a social function. He focused his talents on depicting Russian peasant men and women of the Ryazan Gubernia and the Nizhny Novgorod region.