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F.I.Baykov was a bright representative of battle painting. He also painted landscapes, but the military theme was close to him, and the main part of his work consists of paintings of this direction.
The work “At the Forge” realistically reflects the life of ordinary peasants of that time and the difficult situation in which they found themselves during the hostilities. As you can see, the forge is located in an open area, possibly at the intersection of roads. An ordinary rustic little house with a wooden annex. Through the doorway you can hardly notice the flaming flame of the furnace. Most likely, the blacksmith continues his work. In the background, a rural peasant who spins a horse, a dog runs near him.
The main character of the picture is a soldier. He stands proudly with his hand on his hip. His figure exudes self-confidence, even arrogance. Perhaps this is his horse, he rode to the forge.
The blacksmith at that time could not refuse the soldier, and it was dangerous to go against. People running up to the soldier are interested in something. Or maybe this soldier came up to them and asked for directions. After all, at one passerby the hand points somewhere to the side. He supposedly guides the newcomer, telling him how to move on. For these parts, visitors are very rare.
F.I.Baykov very accurately conveyed the anxiety of that time and even danger. The picture is made in dark colors, although the day is clear. The canvas just exudes the tension hanging at the forge. A soldier could stop to shoe a horse or clean a weapon, while the profession of a blacksmith was in great demand. Judging by the confident position of the soldier and the confused faces of people, it can be assumed that military operations were ongoing.
The locals are helpless and scared. During the war, civilians always suffer. In the distance you can see still approaching silhouettes. Perhaps this retreat of the army and the blacksmith will have to work hard, because all the soldiers will stop here at the forge.
Picture of Leda and the Swan