Painting Mother of the Partisan

Sergey Gerasimov. Painting
Sergey Gerasimov. Painting “Mother of the Partisan”, 1943-1950

Painting Mother of the Partisan by Sergei Gerasimov: an unparalleled feat of women during the war

“Mother of the Partisan” is a painting by Sergej Vasilevich Gerasimov on the theme of the Great Patriotic War. The drama underlying the plot is obvious: the Nazis destroyed the village, seized the partisan and brought his mother to the place of reprisal. Two figures are shown in close-up on the canvas: a proud, fearless peasant woman shielding her son, her fellow villagers, a destroyed village, and a German officer behind whose back there is fire, smoke and human death.

The confrontation between the central characters is a conflict between good and evil, which the artist has masterfully conveyed. In contrast to the bright light image of a woman, the image of the invader, painted in dark green tones, is devoid of individuality. His tall stature and angular build, low forehead and massive jaw demonstrate to the audience a weakness of nature and animal features. The depicted episode of the war instills confidence in the victory of spiritual purity over barbarism and darkness.

Author: Sergei Vasilievich Gerasimov (1885-1964).
Year of writing: 1943-1950
Size: 184 x 229 cm.
Style: Socialist Realism.
Genre: Historical.
Technique: Oil painting.
Material: Canvas. Location: State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow.

Sergei Vasilievich Gerasimov is a talented Russian artist of the 19th-20th centuries. Known for his picturesque landscapes and book illustrations, a public figure, one of the founders of Soviet art. Gerasimov clearly represented the suffering and hatred of the people who found themselves in the territory occupied by the Nazis. He understood people who were ready to give their lives for victory.

Description of the picture

The painting “Mother of the Partisan” was started by the painter in 1943. During this critical period, the actions of partisan formations were an important form of struggle against the occupiers. Underground detachments, which united the front and rear, were supported by the population with all their might. Women, old people and children became participants in armed clashes.

Creating a picture, the artist strove to show the spiritual feat of all women. They not only survived, replacing husbands and sons in the village, but rose to unprecedented moral heights. Women’s mental strength, patience and courage helped the Soviet troops defeat the enemy.

The painting “Mother of the Partisan” had a powerful emotional impact not only on Soviet citizens, but also on the foreign community. In 1958, the work was exhibited at the International Exhibition in Brussels. The masterpiece, which brought back to life the heroic atmosphere of wartime, was awarded a gold medal there.