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Nikolai Bogdanov-Belsky was a prominent representative of the movement of the Wanderers of the early 20th century, a successful academician and chairman of the Kuindzhi Society Commission. Little known to the general public, Bogdanov-Belsky, however, is an iconic figure in Russian painting.
Basically, the artist wrote works on peasant themes, portraits of children and depicted episodes from their education, as well as captured landscape sketches, very similar in technique to impressionism.
The painting "New Masters" was painted by Bogdanov-Belsky in 1913, in the village of Ostrovno, where his friend lived and worked. The canvas of the estate, which is located in this village, is depicted on the canvas. You can see a well-designed interior with large windows, columns and portraits on the walls.
The atmosphere suggests the high origin of the owners of the house, and creates a homely atmosphere. Why is the picture called "New Masters"? Most likely this is due to the difficult situation in the country, because in those days the owners of wealthy estates were mostly ruined and were forced to sell houses to wealthier landowners.
Around the round table gathered a lot of people. In the center, as always, is a polished brilliant samovar - a symbol of the hearth. Children, women and men, all silently drink tea, and in the whole picture you can feel the atmosphere of calm and comfort. The simple clothing of the heroes catches the eye, contrasting so sharply with the rich atmosphere of the house.
Apparently, these are the wealthy peasants who bought this estate from the ruined boyars, and now they are gradually drinking tea in their new possession. However, to get used to such a standard of living, they will need time, but for now, the heroes are more comfortable staying in their native and simple clothes.