After the appearance of the painting “Unequal Marriage” at the academic exhibition (1862), the whole of Russia started talking about the artist Pukirev. This successful work attracted the attention of the public and caused a passionate debate in the press.
There are different opinions about unequal marriages. However, history suggests that such marriages in the past brought suffering to young girls who were forced to marry old people. This was a real tragedy for the victim, so this theme is often present in folk songs, literary works and in the visual arts.
Pukirev himself was a native of a peasant family, he knew a lot about the life of ordinary people firsthand, he was worried about the problems of society. The painting “Unequal Marriage”, which became the peak of the artist’s creative activity, is a vivid example of this.
The subsoil of the picture is a real event about the unhappy love of S. M. Varentsov, a wealthy manufacturer, friend of Pukirev. Who got engaged to a poor young girl S.N. Rybnikova. However, the creative imagination of the artist was not limited to genuine facts. Pukirev deliberately portrayed the groom as more elderly, and the bride almost children. Moreover, the groom at Pukirev is not a manufacturer, but a dry and prim retired general.
The painter gives him an unpleasant appearance: deep wrinkles on his face, loose skin, tightly squeezed collar - everything suggests that the official is a stale person. He does not care about the tears of the bride. Without turning his head to her, the groom only in a whisper expresses his displeasure.
A young bride is a complete contrast to the "newlywed". She has a pretty oval face, small lips, blond hair cast a silk sheen. In a wedding dress with lace, a transparent veil, she looks in a special reverent and charming.
V.V. Pukirev dedicated his unique work of painting to the fate of “dowry”. His painting “Unequal Marriage” due to its relevance was well received by the public.
Mona Lisa Description