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One of Vasily Surikov’s most underestimated works, Izba, was written by him in 1873 and depicts a dilapidated dwelling resembling an ordinary village house, made many tens or hundreds of years before the artist decided to capture it on canvas.
We see in the picture a hut of people who lived not poorly, but not richly. This house is very old and many times repaired, as can be seen on the boards of different freshness and patches on the roof. But it was built to glory and, despite its old age, the pipe on it is intact, the roof does not leak, and the log structure itself is slightly slanted and faithfully serves its owner. The path around the hut is trodden, and near it there is a kind of flowerbed and even a sapling of some tree, which gives us the opportunity to assume that someone else lives there.
What does the author tell us about in his work? To begin with, this hut is intentionally depicted in such a way that it cannot be said whether someone lives there or not, because the emphasis is not on this. Who can live in such a hut? Only an old man with an old woman, like those who lived in Pushkin's fairy tale in a dugout, or just a widowed old woman ... The important thing is that older people live in their gray old house, perhaps all alone.
If they have children, then they no longer live in this old hut, and most likely not even in this village, but far away in the city. And what will happen to this house when the old people are gone? How many labors were spent on its construction and maintenance, how many generations grew up in this hut, and how much did it survive? And all this will be forgotten, like the hut itself? And how many such houses in this village, in all the villages that, having been empty, remain forgotten along with the history, the carriers of which they are ...
Surikov painted his painting Izba almost a century and a half ago, but even now we understand that the appeal of the painting to remember and value its history is still relevant today.