The picture shows the Kustodiev family – his wife and firstborn. Early in the morning, the mother brought the baby to the room to bathe. Sunlight pours out of the window, lights up the table, cluttered with things, a fireplace, not burning on the occasion of heat, a vase with white chrysanthemums on it, a small basin.
Mother is dressed in a light white blouse, in a black skirt. Her hair is pinned high so that the child, splashing, does not wet them. She is leaning low in the bath and picks up clear water in her palm to water the baby. That plump, pink-cheeked, with short blond hair, also stretches to the water, as if trying to repeat the maternal gesture. He has wrinkles of fat in his wrists, pink knees, and he looks very focused, as if the success of the whole enterprise depends on his help.
From the picture blows warmth and comfort. The apartment is furnished not too rich, but with taste and love. The woman is not very beautiful, but how she bathes her son feels a great care and attention. The baby is not much different from any other baby, but it is written with love and accuracy, as if the artist had set himself the task of transferring his son to the canvas as accurately as possible.
This is a small family idyll, expressed in everyday trifles. In the way the baby clings to the hand of the mother when it first tries to go. In the way his mother reads him a bedtime story and returns a bright rattle thrown away by him. In the way she teaches him to play, teaches him to count, teaches to be a real person.
These actions are one for all, but in every family they are lost in their own way. As in theaters, where in one troupe the hero is thick, the other has chrome, the third forgets the text, the fourth suffers from shortness of breath, so in the family actions are colored according to who plays them.
And if they are played by a loving family, they are strikingly different from those that are played where there is no love.