Vasily Grigorievich Perov is a recognized master of Russian realistic painting. Like the rest of the Itinerant artists, he strove to convey in the painting exclusively life stories in all colors and details. The painting "Troika" earned him the title of academician.
The theme of labor and grief in the life of ordinary people was not new for Perov. His canvases, such as Farewell to the Dead, are filled with despair and hopelessness, which so often permeated the life of Russia at the turn of the century. The abolition of serfdom, the emergence of capitalism - all this excited the village, which had lived for centuries according to traditions. A new phenomenon has also appeared - child labor. If earlier children were engaged in heavy physical work very rarely, then the spread of "work-offs" led to the emergence of the concept of "child-worker". It is about this that Perov's painting tells, which is the most ambitious in all of his work. It was written in 1866.
The central plan of the picture is three children (a boy and two girls), dragging a sled through the snow, on which there is a barrel of water. This is the irony of the work. If usually three horses in a harness are called three, then here the role of horses went to children. They are pale and emaciated, their clothes are leaky and need to be repaired for a long time. Judging by the crust of ice on the barrel, there is a strong cold, from which the children are not saved by their shabby clothes. Behind the barrel is propped up by an adult man, whose share of the work falls no less. But he is already mature enough, but the children are struggling on the rise - their faces are exhausted, and the boy is already almost at the limit of his strength dragging his load. A dog is running nearby. Against their background, the walls of a certain Kremlin, and a church can be seen from behind. The picture is designed in gray tones, which makes the atmosphere even more gloomy and uncomfortable. An icy wind blows from the canvas. This hill is probably only one of the obstacles that this sorrowful procession will have to overcome. But she also draws out the strength of their conquerors. Who knows how long they will hold out with such labor.
History of creation
The story associated with the creation of the picture is also filled with tragedy. Perov quickly found the nature for writing female characters. By the time the boy's prototype was found, the painting was almost complete. The prototype of the hero was the peasant son Vasya, whose mother Perov met by chance. Realizing that Vasya is his hero, he took them to the studio and showed the picture, asking permission to copy the boy's portrait for the role. He received permission.
Vasya was the only child of the unfortunate woman who had buried two children and her husband before. And his mother soon lost her last son. Having come four years after the death of her son to Perov, she begged to buy the painting, offering all the simple stuff that she could collect. Perov explained that the painting had already been bought by Pavel Tretyakov, and the only way he could help was to take it to the Tretyakov Gallery and show the canvas. Seeing the image, exactly repeated by the artist's brush, the woman fell to her knees and began to pray for the picture. Later, the peasant woman received a gift - a portrait of Vasya by Perov's hand.