Fedotov – “Officer and Batman”

In Fedotov’s painting “The Officer and the Batman” – the same cast of “characters” as in his early work “Anchor, still anchor!” – a similar setting – a trestle bed, a table, a candle, a guitar – the same “coloristic intrigue” – an interior in the reflexes of a red tablecloth illuminated by a candle. Finally, an identical theme is leisure time playing with a domestic animal (only here is not a dog, but a kitten standing on their paws). A cozy corner, a samovar, tea, a sugar bowl, a twisted bun on the table – a meager, but still dessert, a good-natured smile on the owner’s face (by the way, a physiognomic nuance, only in this work that Fedotov flashed). The same good nature in composing funny incidents – the shadow behind the owner’s back resembles a goat, and since he is with a guitar, it turns out something like a hint of the widespread likening of singing to goat bleating (again auto-irony: the officer here is endowed with self-portrait features, and Fedotov, according to friends , had a pleasant baritone and sang decently with a guitar). A frankly aesthetic admiration for the repetitions of curved lines (the outline of a chair, the edge of the tablecloth, the soundboard of a guitar, the bend of an outstretched hand, the silhouette of the bowed figures of the owner and the orderly) betrays the desire to make the visible pleasant, harmonious. In general, the scene was directed and performed like a humorous everyday life.

Year of painting: 1850.

The size of the painting: 28 x 24 cm.

Material: canvas.

Writing technique: oil.

Genre: genre painting.

Style: realism.

Gallery: State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia.

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