Argunov himself came from a peasant environment, so the main direction of his work can be called the desire to show the dignity and beauty of a person, regardless of his class. He happened to write and know, and commoners. And everywhere he found the spark of God in man, the line that made him beautiful.
“Portrait of an Unknown Woman in Russian Costume” depicts a peasant in traditional dress. But if you do not know about it, or do not think about it, the girl in the picture seems equal to noble ladies, she keeps so calmly. She has a simple soft face. A slightly upturned nose, roughened cheeks, a slight smile playing on the lips, eyebrows even, thin, arched.
The hair is neatly tucked away under a gold-embroidered kokoshnik, earrings gleam in the ears, large red beads shimmer on the neck. White net shirt with a single scarlet bead, embroidered sundress. She is dressed as if she is going to get married today, or for festivities where the whole village will be.
At one time it was believed that the girl – the artist of a theater, dressed in a theatrical costume. However, no costume is reconstructed so scrupulously, and no actress will have such a calm and simple face. Rather, the sundress was taken out of the old grandmother’s chest (maybe she was getting married in it), and the beads came from her great-grandmother.
Through the eyes of the girl from the portrait looks at the viewer past. Watching the game on Ivan Kupala, oaths under the sacred willows. The owner of them could easily walk in the first round dances and sing songs that are bulky, like honey. She could put a bowl with milk to the house, comb the hair of children, press and sow. It is as if embodied the spirit of the old way of life, mossy and ancient times.
And, undoubtedly, she is beautiful, and will not yield to any noblewoman either in self-esteem, or in the enchantment of a smile.