My yesterday’s question was about the detail that Pavel Fedotov used in one of his last paintings, the Widow, to make the interior in his paintings feel like living space, and not a theatre set.
Here’s a prompt. Fedotov made several copies of the Widow. He changed objects in the room, he changed the pose of the widow, but that detail remained unchanged. Look at the other two versions. The detail I am talking about winks at you from each version.
And now the answer: it was an amazing woodcuts artists, Abel Dewitz, who saw it first. I urge you to go over and see his work if you haven’t seen it yet, and if you have, enjoy it once again!
Yes, it is the drawer that is not closed properly.
She’s a lady who cares about the proper order and arrangement of things. Look at the pillows on the bed. Look at the draperies. Look at the top of the chest of drawers: in each painting, all the items are arranged in the most organized way. But she is too emotionally distracted to properly close the drawer. This small detail tells us she actually opened and closed the drawer, and so it is not a prop. Or a very, very clever artist who organised the prop this way to make it real.
Fedotov could spend 6 to 9 months on a painting, going out, searching for the authentic premises, authentic irons, kettles, even cakes! He paid attention to even the slightest detail to make it all…real.