This picture for the first time in the history of Russian painting openly speaks about the feelings of the artist. Never before in our history in works has there been a love-lyrical theme that affects the relationship of representatives of different sexes. Matveev naively and movingly describes his pride in his ability to create art, for his spouse, and for the love between them. The picture symbolizes all that is good that can be in a person.
Both spouses are shown above the belt. The background is a sky covered with clouds. This couple seemed to be walking, but froze for a moment, as if welcoming a random acquaintance whom the viewer was speaking to. Although both of them came out of the lower strata, they lack the stiffness and, especially, the arrogance that is inherent in other representatives of the nobility. The faces of two young people exude a dignity inherent to those who have pulled themselves “up” thanks to their own talents. Their clothes, although meeting the existing fashion of that time, do not shine with a special delicacy. It is simple and beautiful, as if it were created by the hands of the master himself.
The artist’s wife can captivate the viewer with a fresh face with a delicate blush on her cheeks and youthful skin. Her husband, on the contrary, exudes the energy and courage inherent in the representatives of his generation, as well as an unsurpassed mind.
Matveev seems to carefully cuddle with one hand his wife's shoulder. He does not press on her, as evidenced by the little finger set back, but controls the course of their movement. With the second hand, the artist gently touches the palm of his wife, also gently pointing her direction. The girl does not resist her husband’s will, at the same time she confirms her feelings for him by placing her free hand closer to her heart.
Andrei Matveev with this work wanted to perpetuate that family idyll and happiness that were inherent in them. He kept the picture until his death in his chambers.
Pictures of Tatyana Yablonskaya