The Russian painter V. G. Perov depicted on canvas in 1859 a motif from folklore. “The scene on the grave” was the interpretation of the song about weeping for the dead. On the picture of Perov, 3 main characters are depicted at the grave of the deceased man: mother, sister and wife.
The grave of the deceased is quite fresh, a new wooden cross rises above the mound. You can immediately notice how different the emotional state of grieving women. Mother is literally heartbroken. She leaned her body against the grave, as if trying to embrace a lost son.
To the right of an old woman sits a young sister. Her sadness is more restrained and calm. With the passage of time, grief will shatter, leaving room for new events in life. A young widow with a baby does not seem to be saddened at all by the loss. Sitting on her husband’s grave, she gazes slyly from under a mourning shawl at a soldier passing nearby. Her grief is fake and insincere.
The figures of three women are inscribed in a composite triangle. Everything surrounding it fades in their background, but also plays a peculiar role in the transfer of the mood of the picture. Nearby are old graves. They are abandoned: no crosses, with fading colors. This image can be understood as an allegory of the transience of time. Long-term sorrows pass and eventually are completely forgotten.
The sky in the picture is gloomy, but in some places there are areas of a cloudless sky. This brings positive notes to the overall sad picture.
Serov further emphasized the difference in the feelings of women through color. The mother is dressed in the darkest clothes – black and dark blue, the sister is dressed in brown, and the widowed woman is dressed up in a white shirt and orange dress.
“The scene on the grave” is written in the style of realism. This is an excellent example of genre painting, for which the author was awarded a small gold medal. Located in the Tretyakov Gallery.