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At the time of writing "Young Painter" the name of Ivan Firsov was almost unknown. It is so unknown that in order to sell this painting, a certain merchant skillfully wrote the famous name of Anton Losenko over the author’s signature. Fortunately, it was precisely the fact that the brush belonged that Losenko allegedly made art historians doubt that authorship was correct: this painter preferred the classic style and mythical as well as heroic subjects.
Therefore, in 1913, the initiative of Grabar led to the fact that the fake signature was finally washed away, and the truth was revealed to the world: the first picture depicting the life of an ordinary Russian man was painted by the little-known Firsov somewhere between 1765 and 1766.
Ivan Ivanovich opens before us the doors of the artist’s workshop, which looks like he is about 15-16 years old. This boy in a blue suit, nevertheless, enthusiastically leads the canvas with a brush and very boldly draws details of the portrait of a little pretty girl in a cute pink dress. She smiles a little: the process seems to amuse her. Most likely, next to her is her mother, who hugs her daughter with one hand, threatening with the other, apparently reminding the girl that painting portraits is not so easy, especially if the model constantly turns back and forth. By the way, the woman seems to be pregnant: this is evidenced by her spacious dress and round belly. Or is it all about her red and white clothes? A bit unclear.
Next to the young artist is a wooden suitcase with his belongings, and a white rag stained with paints of different colors is hanging on the easel.
The background is also interesting. On the wall there are two paintings, on the wall there is a table on which there is a snow-white bust, a wooden model doll and some other things. Also noteworthy is the dark green curtain, whose dark folds are drawn with care and love, like the whole picture.
Artist Vasily Maximov