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The canvas was released in 1861. The canvas was created the same year that serfdom was abolished. The painting was painted by the artist as a thesis. For her, Perov received a gold medal, and at the same time the opportunity to travel abroad at public expense.
On the canvas, the artist depicted a priest who reads a sermon and simultaneously points up with one hand, and the second points to a well-fed landowner. Perov put into the picture the meaning of everyday relationships in society between ordinary peasants and rich people. Events are developing in a rural church. The artist shows how different sections of the population behave in the same circumstances.
Meanwhile, the landowner, not paying attention to what is happening around, calmly dozing. Near him is a young girl who is also not interested in the words of the preacher. She has a more exciting experience. The young lady is hiding behind a prayer book, thinking that this will help to hide her conversation with the gentleman behind her, who is saying something directly in her ear.
On the canvas on the left is a group of peasants. Immediately noticeable that they absolutely do not care what the priest says.
With genuine indifference, a bearded man looks at the preacher, and a person standing next to him boringly scratches his head. His eloquent gesture hints at the meaninglessness of the priest's speeches. Only children try to listen carefully, but the meaning of what they said is hardly understood.
When creating a work of art, the artist was not going to put hidden meaning into the picture. But peasant reform influenced his decision. And he painted on the canvas the faces of the peasants who were waiting for the manifesto to be read in February 19th. They are less noticeable due to the foreground figures. The main meaning of the picture is a thirst for justice and truth.
Picture Scream Munch Description