Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin is a Russian artist who wrote in the spirit of symbolism, using for his paintings some images from Russian folk tales - animals, people in an unusual setting. Viewers of the last century know the artist as the author of the painting “Bathing the Red Horse”, popular in the Soviet Union, but the creator had many other wonderful works, one of which was the painting “Behind the Samovar”, written in 1926.
In the foreground of the picture is a girl - a woman in a light-skinned, bare full arms and beautiful swan neck blouse. The girl's hair is pulled back and twisted into a tight hairstyle. The girl’s body is only half visible to the viewer, one of her hands is attached to her chest, while the other rests on the back of the chair. Behind the girl’s back is a served table covered with a blue tablecloth.
The main place on the table and almost in the whole center of the picture is a large brilliant samovar, around it are placed glasses and cups with hot tea. Behind the samovar, the viewer can clearly see the face and figure of the second participant in the tea party, whose pensive appearance indicates that the people gathered at the table and visible to the viewer are not the only ones in this room.
Most likely, there is a third interlocutor whose story they are going to listen with great attention and interest. This is also evidenced by the pose of a girl who turned away from the table and froze in anticipation. You can also see the reflection of the third samovar present in polished to a shine, which in the pre-revolutionary era it was customary to get only on special occasions, which, apparently, is the arrival of the guest.
Since the artist is still a follower of symbolism, the presence of a third person in the picture is also indicated by such a detail as a clearly traced door, which has always been a symbol in the way of designating the arrival of a new actor, both in painting and in other forms of art.
Penitent Mary Magdalene Titian