This picture is dedicated to the life of a simple Russian person of the turn of the XIX – XX centuries. and draws a scene so much loved by many evening tea. In the old days, such gatherings attached particular importance and prepared for them thoroughly. The closest people gathered. The table was covered with a tablecloth, all sorts of treats were put on and a samovar was surely kindled, for which everything was started. All this is reflected in the picture in question. The episode of tea drinking sketched by Igor Grabar takes place at sunset after a long day. Twilight is already gathering in the room, but the last rays of the setting sun still leave their glare.
The metallic reflection of the hot samovar and the gleaming of crystal glassware in combination with other details are made in a neutral and calm color palette. No clear contours, the colors imperceptibly turn into one another, creating a single canvas. And against this background, we see the heroine of the picture.
Behind the samovar with a cup in his hands, the artist captured his future wife, Valentina Mikeshin, the daughter of a famous artist and sculptor. The image of a girl, Igor Grabar, was drawn with special attention. The sunset light glitters her hair and emphasizes the blush of a beautiful pensive face. The pose of the heroine of the picture is motionless and concentrated. Behind tea-drinking there always reigns a special confidential atmosphere, when one can talk heart-to-heart. One gets the impression that we are sitting on the other side of the table and are going to tell the girl some story – so carefully she looks at us from the canvas.
An empty glass in the right corner reinforces the feeling of the viewer’s involvement in the described reality. The girl invites us to pour ourselves a glass of tea, take jams from a vase and share with her the mystery of evening tea drinking. And all this happens in silence, when you can talk in a low voice.