Vinogradov is one of the Wanderers, and the depiction of the peasant life by him is quite natural. The picture shows the little shepherds, huddled around a fire.
Cows graze around – white and two spotted with black sides – an autumn grove that hovers under the breeze. Gray smoke pulls away from the dying fire, and the children sit so as not to breathe them. There are six of them. Four boys are sitting right on the ground. One reclines, leaning on his elbow, and looking like a branch covered with ash smolder.
The second one is drawing something on the ground with his fingers, his head is lowered, he looks immersed in some hard thoughts. The third also looks at the fire, he is dressed in dark clothes, sits on his heels. The fourth (it seems the smallest one) is dressed in bright blue clothes and sits with one leg thrown back, while he himself reaches for the fire. The fifth boy stands above the rest. A hat is crookedly pulled over his head, a bag is hanging over his shoulder – he must be there for the whole day.
Slightly on the side, looking down, there is a girl – the fact that she is a girl can only be understood by the red scarf, which she is a little big. Things are dumped on the side – some small knots, belongings, and children look somewhat homeless in the middle of a gray autumn landscape.
Above them is a bulging sky that looks like it is protruding from a picture. It is covered with clouds and therefore it has extremely different colors. On the bushes and trees hang rare red and orange leaves, the same on the ground and they are much more than on the branches. Adults at harvest. They take the last from the fields, and children, who by virtue of their age cannot cope with the scythe, will not be able to tie a sickle or dig deep, look after the cows. Those, unlike children, look quite happy. Hang around, bend their heads to the ground, looking for a particularly tasty grass.
In the evening, when it starts to get dark, it will become more fun. It will be possible to tell terrible tales, and then you can go home, in warm huts.
In the meantime, children just wait, do not even play. The picture shows the tragedy of peasant children – they have no time to play.