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The Volga Boatmen

The Volga Boatmen - meet them all in uniforms with...

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The Volga Boatmen was enthusiastically received. Stasov predicted fame and success for the young artist and Dostoevskii wrote the following review in his Writer's Diary : "As soon as I read in the newspapers about the burlaki of Mr. Repin, I immediately became frightened. The very subject is horrible: we are conditioned to believe that the burlaki more than others are capable of conveying the well-known socialist idea about the unpaid debt of the privileged class to the people. In expectation of this I was prepared to
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Unformatted text preview: meet them all in uniforms with appropriate labels on their foreheads. What happened then? To my joy all my fears turned out to be in vain. Not one of them shouts to the viewer from the painting: 'Look how miserable I am and how great a debt you owe to your people!' Just for this alone the artist deserves the greatest merit. Good, familiar figures: the two front burlaki are almost laughing, at least they aren't crying at all, and by no means are they thinking about their social condition...
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