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By Teikh, Gustavovich (Russian, 19th Century)
This delicate watercolour captures a rare moment of hedonistic pleasure among a rural Russian peasant community, as the group enjoys the lively feast.
The painting depicts an interior scene of Russian peasants, or Serfs, engaging in feasting, singing and dancing. The painting is signed in Cyrillic and dated '1872' (lower left). The date of this painting and the apparent happiness of the subjects may allude to a series of reforms made by Alexander II of Russia which began with the earlier 'Emancipation of the Serfs' act of 1861, which granted peasants, who were formerly tied to the land and their community by their ownership, led to the improvement of the lives of peasants in rural communities.
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