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This work is interesting for its unusual history. Its author is Philip Andreyevich Malyavin, born in 1869. From childhood, the boy loved to draw and sculpt figures from clay, giving them to friends. Since he grew up in a poor peasant family, his parents could not allow him to seriously engage in creativity. Neighbors repeatedly drew his father's attention to the boy’s talent, saying that he certainly should go to study. Father usually answered: "There are no scientists from peasants."
Growing up, Philip became interested in sketching icons, while adding to his copy of his vision. The boy dreamed of going to study on Mount Athos, where the monks were located. Subsequently, he will be able to get to this place, where later the famous sculptor considered the talent of a young guy and invited him to St. Petersburg.
A little later, Malyavin entered the art school, and Repin became one of his mentors. Philip manages to obtain the necessary skills and knowledge, which he later successfully applies in practice, simultaneously becoming one of the portrait painters that were fashionable at that time. As Philippe himself said: “It's not about the colors, but the truth.” He argued that the key to a successful painting is to mentally examine it completely, “hug” it with a look, and only then proceed with creation.
When he presented to the public the picture “Laughter”, which became his graduation work at the Academy, strict spectators really laughed, but at the artist himself. The work was criticized as something disgusting and ineptly portrayed. However, in the future this work will be sent to Paris to the exhibition of Russian artists, where it will be awarded the title of the best picture of the exhibition, and then redeemed for a private Italian collection.
Thus, the great Russian soul, depicted on the canvas in the face of laughing peasants, left the fatherland, finding recognition among refined connoisseurs of art.