Yaroshenko – Russian peredvizhnik artist, extremely versatile personality. He gave preference to portraits and plot scenes (as rules from the life of the peasantry, with the so-called “people’s melancholy”), worked in the style of realism, sometimes causing a lot of controversy and extremely diverse reactions of both viewers and critics with his paintings.
“Everywhere is life” – his most scandalous picture, which caused a stirring and ferment of minds, accusations of idealizing and whitening ordinary criminals, as well as offensive teasers, like reinterpreting the name in “Everywhere is a Trend”. It depicts a prison car, greenish, flaky, stopped at some polustankke. At the small barred window crowded its inhabitants.
A woman in black with a serious, sad face is most likely a widow. A bearded peasant, a Cossack with a mustache and a forelock, a soldier in a cap, from behind, looking out into the white light. A small child who is kept together by the window.
And below, at the car, pigeons scurry around. The prisoners are throwing something to them – crumbs, it must be – and the pigeons are jostling, pecking on the ground what they have not yet had time to pick up. The faces of the people watching them glow. The child rejoices in the birds, the others yearn for freedom, envying the pigeons and their ability to fly away. Nowhere is their innocence assessed, but he does not look like villains. There is no hint of a rare smile, that the joy of ordinary good little things like feeding pigeons for them is unusual.
Behind their backs, in the darkness of the car, the silhouette of another prisoner is visible. He emerges against the window in the pose of the hero “Prisoner” from another picture by Yaroshenko, which more than obviously indicates that this person.
The whole picture seems to be faded – the sky is gray, the pigeons do not seem to be very bright either, the platform is greyish, and the carriage has been shabby for a long time – and only people’s faces attract the eye, out of total grayness. They are illuminated by an inner light.