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"The rural procession on Easter" was written by Vasily Grigorievich Perov in 1861. At this time of reforms and transformations, in the year of the abolition of serfdom, the artist sought through a realistic plot to convey subtle criticism of modern Russian society. He took the liberty of exposing some of the vices of his contemporaries on this canvas.
When the painting appeared before the eyes of a highly esteemed audience, it caused a deep shock to the guests of the exhibition. Here religion is intertwined with everyday life, unspiritualized and prosaic. The unpleasant scene caused a lot of negative reviews on the author’s share, including from the state authorities. Society demanded to remove the shameful picture from the museum, and, only thanks to Pavel Tretyakov, it remained in its place.
We see the evening twilight after the celebration of the Resurrection of Christ. The picture that appears before our eyes does not leave a pleasant impression. All the characters of the canvas, to put it mildly, are not quite sober. The priest, who became sober and starving, looked down, his face turned red, the cloak was casually thrown over his clothes. He walks unsteadily down the steps of a wooden Russian hut. In the foreground is a peasant woman in a bright shawl that draws the words of prayer. Next to her is an old man, in his hands he holds an icon that he did not even bother to turn upside down. All this fun, hoppy procession holds the way to church.
Seeing a mockery of religion in the canvas is not entirely true. The author tried to convey not mockery of faith, but only the "dead" faith of the modern clergy and people. Clergy officials do not seek the blessings of the Lord. They are aimed at personal gain, which is obtained at the expense of authority among the people. Their robes become a kind of cover from the sins of the burning of morality.
Vladimir Before Rogneda