Human Comedy and the Drama of Life in the Art of Pavel Fedotov
THE ART OF PAVEL FEDOTOV (1815-1852) HAS A UNIVERSAL APPEAL. THE TRETYAKOV GALLERY EXHIBITION MARKING THE BICENTENARY OF HIS BIRTH INTRODUCES THIS CREATOR OF WELL-KNOWN AND POPULAR IMAGES AS A SUPERB GRAPHIC ARTIST, WHO GAVE HIS SMALL-SCALE "INTIMATE PIECES" A DEPTH COMMENSURATE WITH HIS PLACE AND CENTRAL ROLE IN RUSSIAN CULTURE.
The public has always been interested not only in Fedotov's artistic discoveries, but in his remarkable personality, too. He had many talents: he wrote short and long poems and fables, composed romances, sang, and played the flute and guitar. Although he did not have the benefit of a regular artistic education, he astonished the public with his first compositions, displayed at an academic show in 1849. After this unprecedented success, Fedotov, dining with friends, said that each of his works was meant to encourage the betterment of public mores. Thus, his "Aftermath of a Revel", also known as "The Fresh Cavalier" and "An Official the Morning after Receiving His First Decoration" (1846, Tretyakov Gallery), makes the viewer aware of the harm ensuing from lack of thrift and bad company, while "The Major's Marriage Proposal" (1848, Tretyakov Gallery) makes one think about the humiliating situation of a man of leisure seeking to improve his circumstances through a ludicrous marriage.
Debate followed such works, and many viewers were against theories of this kind, believing that anyone could moralise in such fashion, whereas the power of art lay in edifying through "the spectacle of things beautiful". As Ivan Turgenev wrote in his review of Alexander Ostrovsky's play "The Poor Bride", "not everyone has the faculty to 'shape the hub of the universe' out of basest vulgarity"1. A man of his times, Fedotov worked in a period when the public loved illustrated almanacs, literary feuilletons and vaudevilles. He was called a "Russian Hogarth" and a "Gogol in painting", but having created an encyclopaedia of droll situations, petty passions and the vices of the common man, he managed to avoid platitudes and the bombast of moralising, uniting into a single whole a poetic perception of reality and the moral essence of the subject.
"Never slipping into mundane mediocrity, his realism was ennobled by the purity of moral aspirations, which are equal to taste, and by a Flemish craftsmanship..."2: this remark, made by the publisher Fyodor Bulgakov, highlights one of the key qualities of Fedotov's art - its sense of proportion and artistic taste in addressing the unattractive aspects and properties of human nature.
Fedotov's talent first appeared when he was serving in the Finland Regiment, from 1834 to 1844. However, the army's military campaigns were in the past, and the future artist was to experience only peacetime service, consisting of guard duty, drills, manoeuvres and parades. Moreover, "matters of appearance" were of paramount importance, and the slightest infringement would result in punishment. Fedotov served dutifully but without zeal and, his father having been a good disciplinarian, it did not seem he would or could have acted in any way that might have merited serious punishment; Fedotov's concern about his family's welfare also prevented him from indulgence in excesses. His diary entries for 1835 focus only on minor episodes and convey the rather typical character of a young army officer burdened neither by any deep intellectual curiosity nor any serious preoccupations except his routine army duties, irregular reading, and dabbling in music and painting. "At home I played the guitar a little, and frolicked with a dog"3; "at about seven o'clock - off for a stroll, walked into a church in time for the midnight service; stood in the altar and giggled with the Junkers; walked out before the end..."4; "off to Novaya Derevnya - to patrol, to the laboratory. On the raft, waiting for Lermantov (he is off to patrol). Here we drank water and beer, touched the frogs and the girls who came off the boats. Did the changing of the guard (the officer on duty absent). While on duty, did some sleeping, walking and the drawing of the outline. That was all."5
What a strong longing for high art he must have had if it propelled him to renounce this monotonous but fairly decent life as an army man for the sake of an obscure future as a "freelancer"! Having served faithfully and loyally in the army for ten years, Fedotov retired. He tried to study the basics of battle-scene painting with Alexander Sauerweid at the Academy of Fine Arts but soon abandoned this genre, although it could have brought him recognition and prosperity. Seeing himself as a successor to satirists such as England's William Hogarth and David Wilkie, and French artists like Paul Gavarni and Jean-Jacques Grandville, Fedotov resolutely devoted himself to the art "of moral criticism".
The Russian public had been familiar with the prints of Hogarth, the great English moraliser and critic of public mores, from the 18th century6 onwards - his works appeared in "Vestnik Evropy" (Messenger of Europe) in 1808-09 and "Zhivopisnoe obozrenie" (Painting Review), accompanied by translations of the texts taken from German publications. An article about Hogarth, published by Nestor Kukolnik in an issue of "Khudozhestvennaya gazeta" (Art Gazette) from 1838, began with the phrase: "Hogarth is the most demotic of painters, not only in England... but even among us, on the Continent."7 Fedotov was undoubtedly familiar with this piece, and the writer's emphasis on the "demotic" nature of the English painter's art was important for someone who regarded art as an instrument for influencing the public mores. Fedotov's close friend, Alexander Druzhinin, was also a zealous champion of English literature who had a reputation as a connoisseur of Hogarth. But it wasn't art, neither that of Hogarth nor of the admired Lesser Dutchmen, that stimulated his creative desires but the daily hustle and bustle and passions of everyday life. The best examples of such work showed how such impressions from everyday life could be reworked into art.
In 1837 "Zhivopisnoe obozrenie" printed Hogarth's "Distrest Poet", an image which might have later suggested to Fedotov the story for his sepia drawing "A Poor Artist Who Married Without a Dowry, Counting on His Talent" (1844, Tretyakov Gallery). However, Fedotov's piece highlights different ethical and psychological issues and conveys a different message. Hogarth tells the story of a weak talent humiliating himself through his graphomania, the image accompanied by a text: "Become an earth-digger, a day-labourer, and first of all lift your wretched family from poverty, and after that, resting quietly at a table with a stale dinner, cultivate your poetic aspirations."8 Hogarth's poet is intoxicated by his creative drive while his wife, busy with her needlework, is quite attractive and certainly does not arouse dislike in viewers. In Fedotov's picture, on the contrary, the artist's lonely and unkempt figure appears humiliated and guilt-ridden amidst the bedlam that is his dwelling. Every character in this sepia drawing is living evidence of the family's horrible moral decay: someone is stealing, someone curses, while the daughter leaves with a seducer. The tragic tenor of the situation is strengthened by the dead child lying in the centre of the scene on a small table like a toy, an object to which nobody pays any attention: this is the most damning evidence of the utter debasement of spirituality.
Hogarth's combination of entertainment and moralising was in line with Fedotov's artistic vision. But Fedotov's personality had two elements that were at odds with one another - his penchant for satire and his inclination towards genre paintings, originating from Fedotov's love of the Lesser Dutchmen. It was the genre painter who would prevail even in compositions based on the most grotesque narratives, not to mention the artist's final works, with their altogether different message. The expressive and accurate conveying of human character, the humour of events, the imagery of the objects which took on a life of its own and, finally, the artistry of the visual effect mattered for Fedotov as much as the narrative and its moralistic message. In Fedotov's scenes one can see amidst the multitude of "meaningful" objects the "prosaic, fundamental petty everyday troubles" which seem to come from Gogol... Just as Gogol's descriptions sometimes become enchantingly phantasmagoric, Fedotov's scenes draw the viewer into the whirlwind of their vain world that is always disintegrating into the smallest, "atomic" live details.
Thus, in the sepia drawing "The Fresh Cavalier" the abundance of everyday rubbish and wrecked objects, torn textiles and broken dishes symbolise for Fedotov the "dishevelled" and unbuttoned character's impurity of soul: "Tidiness around oneself in one's home is a sign of self-respect. Physical tidiness will require, in parallel, moral tidiness."9 Depraved liaisons and an indiscriminate choice of companions are prone to contort the natural (or cultivated) ethical sensibility. In the poem "Where a depraved liaison has been formed.", continuing the subject addressed in "The Fresh Cavalier", Fedotov tells the story of the downfall of a man who first adapted himself to the behaviour of his immoral companions and avoided decent people, and then accepted their principles as something good and normal, becoming hostile to his previous friends. The poem ends:
“Vice celebrates its victory,
And shamelessly wears its wreath,
And if it suddenly meets with contempt,
The depraved soul will boil
Not with remorse, but with revenge:
It is only one step to malfeasance when the conscience sleeps."10
Society's most common vice is the lie, which takes different forms: sometimes it can be quite innocent, as with the young girl who accepted a marriage proposal from two men who turned out to be friends ("The Imprudent Bride", 1849-1851, Russian Museum), and sometimes shameful, as in the sepia drawing "The First Morning of a Deceived Newly-wed Husband" (1844, Tretyakov Gallery), or grotesque, as in the drawing Fedotov made late in his life, "The Domestic Thief (The Thieving Husband)" (1851, Tretyakov Gallery). The characters in the composition "The Difficult Bride" (1847, Tretyakov Gallery) feign their feelings, too. But their insincerity and affectation are toned down by the rather disingenuous joy of the bride's father and mother, who stand still in the doorway in their anticipation: thus, the edifying tenor of the scene acquires a touch of humanity, which lends a deeper meaning to its banal domestic situation. Disapproving of vanity and prudery, Fedotov nevertheless does not condemn the picture's heroine and maybe even sympathizes with her. His fable "A Poem and a Ball Gown (Poetry and Evening Dresses)" contains these lines:
“We are going to visit a mature maiden.
And why would she need poems?
Why would she need poetry?
Lying in bed, she probably has long been
Sick and tired of all poetic heartaches.
She needs bridegrooms!
In this hapless maiden nature demands its due
Ever more persistently as the years go by.
And this creditor ought not to
Serve as a rebuke even to the purest of maidens.
He acts upon the Lord's will..."11
Fedotov's "aristocrat" who, at the sight of an unexpected guest, hastily covers his meagre breakfast - a piece of rye bread - with a book is seized with groundless shame ("The Aristocrat's Breakfast", 1849-1850, Tretyakov Gallery). Many works of literature from that period feature such redundant but ambitious residents of the capital - in particular, Ivan Turgenev's play "Lack of Money (Scenes from the St. Petersburg Life of a Young Nobleman)"12, whose hero, a certain Zhazikov, "does not hold employment but lives and spends money in St. Petersburg". However, sharing the writer's ironical attitude to these characters and the inanities of their lives, one cannot help enjoying the objects around them, the texture of the fabrics and the artistic craftsmanship. It appears that Fedotov, who never experienced the comforts of home and domesticity, sublimated his suppressed love for artfully made objects and all things elegant and delicate, carefully depicting every little detail of the domestic environment. In Fedotov's compositions the pure beauty of the objects and the consummate artistic craftsmanship offset the moral imperfection of human nature, generating a metaphor of discord between the aesthetics of the material world and the corrupted ethical foundations of worthless human existence.
People's cantankerousness and pettiness are synonyms of the good-for-nothingness and inner void that propel people to "make a mountain out of a molehill", as does the woman featured in the sepia drawings "The Demise of Fidelka" and "Inquest into the Demise of Fidelka" (1844, both at the Tretyakov Gallery). In Fedotov's pictures drinking, like mendacity, acquires different forms and different degrees of calamity. While the caricature "Torso of the Belvedere" (1841, Tretyakov Gallery) makes a mockery of the academic artists' weakness for the bottle, and the drawing "Friday - A Dangerous Day" (1830s, Russian Museum) of the temptations pursuing a young military officer, in watercolours such as "Gentlemen!.. Get Married - This Will Be Useful" (1842-1843, Tretyakov Gallery) or "Baptism" (1847, Russian Museum) the irony towards such bibulousity has an excessively bitter flavour, since the main character's drinking places a heavy burden on his family.
One of the most enduring social vices is venality, or thieving. Already in his first moralising watercolour piece "Ante-room in a Police Officer's Home on the Eve of a Big Holiday" (1837, Tretyakov Gallery) Fedotov used a narrative found not only in Gogol's "The Government Inspector" but also in a number of other literary works of the period. The sepia drawing "A Store" features an array of common vices, including petty theft. The cantankerousness of wives who pester their husbands with their complaints and cavils ("A Family Scene", 1848-1850, Tretyakov Gallery; "An Important Lady", 1848-1850, Russian Museum) manifests itself in their whims and squandering of money ("A Store", 1844, Tretyakov Gallery; "Buying a Little Chain", 1849-1851, Russian Museum). Fedotov's verdict was, "so much evil wrapped in gold was brought into the world by Adam's rib"13. However, this female weakness is often accompanied by a forgivable flirtatiousness, which provokes in the artist only a mildly ironical response.
The appeal of his "drawing-dialogues", which sometimes feature the artist himself among their characters, consists not only in the humour of the scenes but also in the artist's techniques: the supple and taut lines gracefully trace the contours of the figures and objects, while the sharply captured nuances of gesticulation, poses and movements are true to life. The visual charm of the female characters indicates yet another feature of Fedotov's artistry - a lyrical element, which also showed itself in the artist's ventures into poetry. The subject of women and marriage was of interest to him, with a large text about society being "a flea-market" ending with the following statement: "What does it mean to get married? - to buy in this market a ready-made dress - it will be pulled out where it's short, and where it's loose - you'll be told the fabric will shrink - like 'things going get okay when you get used to them'. Everything seems to fit well, everything is good, but when you come home you see that you've bought stolen goods - with patched-up pieces which... were ironed over and cleaned up. A week's passed and you wish you hadn't bought the thing. Don't boast about knowing how to choose a wife - such knowledge doesn't exist. Only pray that you happen upon an honest seller at the flea-market."14
Money - its availability or lack thereof - turns out to be the strongest factor influencing human characters and relationships not only at work but at home too, with many stories of the plays written in the 1840s centred around such problems. The artist himself, however, suffered financial hardships with dignity, without burdening his friends with an obligation to take care of him. His friend and biographer Druzhinin wrote: "Looking at Fedotov's sketch 'The Old Age of an Artist' one can think that his tenacious spirit was often tested by privation. This is hardly fair: Pavel Fedotov explored the stages of poverty in the same way as he explored the real faces of the denizens of the pubs, without becoming one of them. There is no doubt that before he met Briullov he was not quite confident of his potential and sometimes envisaged a dismal old age; but his thoughts about it were exactly like a commander-in-chief's thoughts about the possibility of being killed in battle."15
For all the imperfections of social life, "evil" for Fedotov is to be found not in any abstract pernicious "environment" but is a quality inherent in human beings, who are its carriers. Regardless of what the world around them is like, Fedotov's characters have a choice: to act honestly, to side with decent people, to avoid idleness, and to be honest. And if polite society, with its customs and conventions, is a social milieu that isn't conducive to creative development, then one should avoid it or limit one's contacts with it. Solitude is a necessary condition for the development of talent: "Far from society and people, scores of ideas come to my loft to engage in private conversation with me, a sitter-at-home," the artist avowed in his diaries16. Although he lived in St. Petersburg for a long time, Fedotov was aware that he was not "cut and smoothed" by society. Because he saw how the public mores that prevailed in the capital could deprive people of their simplicity and sincerity in friendship and love, he greatly appreciated his circle of close friends, in whose company he felt at ease. It is no coincidence that his portraits, small (and sometimes miniature) as they are, give rise to positive, joyous emotions in viewers. Feeling deep sympathy for his models, the artist endows their images with a warmth intrinsic to basic human relations. Carefully depicting both costumes and environment, he conveyed the harmony of domestic comfort which he relished in the family homes of his friends the Druzhinins, Flugs and Zhdanovichs. Engaging with portraiture as an instrument of independent study of painting techniques, Fedotov created pieces that naturally became a part of the legacy of the romantic intimate portrait. The classic clarity and harmony of proportions, fluid lines and colour combinations, the delicate balance between the everyday and symbolic, the transient and eternal constitute the charm of one of Fedotov's masterpieces, the portrait of Nadenka Zhdanovich playing the piano (1849, Russian Museum).
Fedotov's notebooks, diaries and odd notes kept at the Russian Museum's Department of Manuscripts show us a sensitive individual who reflects on life with its positive and tragic aspects, on the artist's place in this world, the bitterness of unjust destiny and humility when set against the inevitability of death. Even if the simplicity of its articulation seems sometimes naive, Fedotov's philosophy contains a kernel of clear thought and wisdom acquired in difficult circumstances. Keen on poetry, his spirit manifested itself not only in his movingly frank verse but in his letters as well. In a letter to his father he provided an astonishingly vivid description of early spring warmth, untypical for St. Petersburg: "Ah, this spring... The Sun was getting hotter and hotter, and finally at the end of March it became so hot that it could not stand the heat itself, like a cook near his oven. Now the Sun wanted to cool off a little - to take a gulp of water. So - yes, the Neva is under the ice, the sea is too far
to send a servant there, the water is unappetizing, and it's unbearably hot. What to do? What do you mean by 'what to do' - the Sun's beams are the sharpest, like golden needles - let them sharpen the ice, and, oh, well - the ice, though reluctantly, is off into the sea to dilute the salty water - the Neva is as clean as can be, no trace of ice, and water is all around for you to drink. Here the Sun took a gulp of the Neva's fresh water - the Sun has refreshed itself and set itself right, did some idle sprawling around and lolling about in the soft clouds - in a word, took a rest and set about working, and spring began. At first the spring spread itself, like green crepe, like a film over tree branches, one piece of greenery following another, and now it's like emerald. Where there are beams, there are pastures, like green velvet - the eye is all softness and the soul feels at ease with the air sweet and light."17
It is of interest that Fedotov moralised using verbal forms that were close to popular sayings and proverbs. The artist was interested in vernacular speech and popular wisdom: "He expressed himself very simply and even used expressions and turns of phrase of the simple classes, but his brief pronouncements were always so pertinent, so felicitous, sassy and fitting"18 Many writers of the period used the vernacular to enrich verbal texture, but one of the strongest exponents of this trend was the playwright Alexander Ostrovsky, who began his literary career in the same period, the 1840s-1850s. Fedotov, who had cleared so many obstacles on his road to art, compared talent to the brilliance of a diamond: "A diamond is colourless - like a crystal, like water, like air - and there are sparks" Work for him was sacred: "I know that the idle man is, at the bottom of his heart, the enemy of every working man!"19 In his poem "She does not exist for me since yesterday", reflecting on what could have attracted a young girl to him, Fedotov writes that "the theme" of his life "is spun from love, woven over with kindness and secured with work". With no fortune to inherit, Fedotov believed that the dignity of honest work was the mainstay of morality. But it was difficult for talent to develop without support, just as it is for the flower to grow without the sun. However, equally dangerous for creative talent were the temptations inherent in the life of polite society, which eat up, in the course of the "petty rush of visiting" and efforts to secure needful connections and a fashionable entourage, the most precious thing of all, time.
Increasingly desperate, the artist appeared to be trying to "cast a spell" with his notes against the injustice of fortune, proving to pitiless polite society and his well-to-do fellow citizens that talent, intellect and work have more value in this world than sacks of money, ranks and titles. In a draft of his letter to a rich buyer of his pictures (Fyodor Pryanish- nikov, apparently) Fedotov, asserting the artist's dignity when set against that of the wealthy man, made this point: "This is the difference between us - I did not learn about you, but you learned about me."20 He was painfully aware that the world was unjust but tried to convince himself of the existence of another, supreme justice.
"The soul is designated to develop its best qualities,
That which is truly yours.
Bureaucrats in trouble can be drafted into the army.
Rich people, too, suffer calamities.
And connections are like dust: today a prince,
Tomorrow you're dragged through the mud.
The world is ruled by fortune.
But if you have a mature talent, like a copper monument,
You can even bury it in the ground!
It will rest there for 100 centuries.
And when you dig it out - it is new!
And again - a consolation to people -
Talent improves in appearance when it’s persecuted..."21
At the end of his short life Fedotov, certainly tired of teaching moral lessons, tried his hand in other genres. A mocker of human weaknesses and vices, he turned into a philosopher. In distress at a tragic event in his family - his widowed sister had been left nearly penniless - he contemplated a composition titled "The Widow". However, the composition was focused not on a dynamic and engrossing story with many evocative details but on the state of mind of the heroine, sunk in a sleepy torpor. The sad (but fairly common) family story22 gains a profound and layered message. As in previous pieces, it is the objects that illuminate the narrative: on the floor are the little widow's belongings, packed and sealed before being sold off to pay her debts; the woman leans against the only things that are left to her - a chest of drawers, on which sits a portrait of her late husband, an icon of the Saviour and a piece of needlework. However, all such material details are in the background, with the central place in the picture occupied by the heroine herself, who seems to be standing motionless on the threshold of this new and joyless life. The artist tried one variant after another, reworking the young woman's appearance, the individual details and the lighting, and causing viewers to languish in this beauty, the cosmic loneliness of a woman's soul, and to experience these bizarre, anxious sensations, including the sense of the unreality of this very real character and these perfectly depicted objects.
Mental instability, exacerbated by overstrain, headaches and a febrile state of mind, took its effect on Fedotov's artistic gift. He was painfully aware of the brevity of human life and the inconstancy of fame, with the reality of everyday life increasingly demonstrating its dark side to him. In Fedotov's last drawings and paintings the dramatic imagery was crafted not with narrative or the "materiality" of superbly painted objects but with atmosphere itself, the restless play of light and shade. Falling into the abyss of mental collapse, Fedotov made an inspired creative breakthrough into a space of different, symbolic imagery. The utmost economy of line, breaches in the usual logic of single-point perspective, and a fragmentariness of figures in the studies for the composition "Players" (1852, Kiev National Museum of Russian Art), and even the blue colour of the paper itself, creates a stunning psychological effect, causing an almost surreal sense of anxiety and danger. The composition "Encore, Once Again!" (1851-1852, Tretyakov Gallery) evades any simple explanation, too. Its visual expressiveness and feverish colour scheme prove to be much more salient than the simple narrative - an army officer, bored by his life in the countryside, makes a poodle jump back and forth over a long chibouk (a long-stemmed Turkish tobacco pipe). The contours of a village hut, suffused with reddish light and blurred, as well as the shapeless figures and objects melting into the darkness, stir in the viewers a vague anxiety, causing them to reflect not so much on the officer's destiny as on the artist's life and fate.
Already confined in an asylum, in a brief moment of clarity of mind he wrote to his friend, the artist Alexander Beideman, feverishly trying to hold on to his past thoughts as seeds for future harvest: "Sashinka, my friend - sit down with a pencil and a piece of paper, make sure you send me a copy of what I've written to you - these sacred moments of life should be kept forever. Go ahead, my little friend - this artistic damage will open a new key - will spill like a river, broaden like a lake, like a sea in your bosom, like a sea of fire which will burn down all that is carnal - mundane in your soul. Only the heart will be inspired and excited - before the Lord - for the sake of grace of which He is the centre and the source. Forever your brother, Pavel."23
In the struggle of life between his creative drive and the inescapable need to support his family, his old father and sisters, financially, Fedotov the artist was vanquished by Fedotov the man. He was exhausted by this struggle, and his mind proved too weak to sustain the pressures of the conflict between his duty to his kinsfolk and his duty to art. Perhaps, if the creator of "The Major's Marriage Proposal" had lived longer he would have come to be ranked among Russia's "great bleeding hearts", who contributed to the nation's culture their personal verdict on human destiny as well as profound reflections on the nation's character within the context of the drama of its existence. Or among those relentless critics of corrupt morals who showed to the world that the cruelty of the status quo is much more oppressive than an individual's ill will. Whether Fedotov is a founder of critical realism is a matter of argument which does not seem relevant today. But one is inclined to think that the "shot" of Fedotov's art as injected into Russian culture eliminated the risk that this culture would sink either into an academic "slice-of-life" variety of painting or genre scenes fit for polite society, or into the blunt satire typical for magazines.
- Turgenev, Ivan.'Several Words about Mr. Ostrovsky's New Comedy "The Poor Bride”’, in"Collected Works and Letters", 30 volumes. Moscow: 1980. Vol. 4. P. 493.
- Quoted from: Bulgakov, Fyodor. "Pavel Andreevich Fedotov and His Artwork and Writings". St. Petersburg, 1893. P. 3. Hereinafter, Bulgakov.
- From his diary, March 13 1835. Quoted from: Leshchinsky, Ya. "Pavel Andreevich Fedotov: Artist and Poet". Moscow-Leningrad: 1946. P. 105. Hereinafter, Leshchinsky.
- Fedotov's diary, March 30 1835. 'Lazarus Saturday. Quoted from: Leshchinsky. P. 106.
- Fedotov's diary. March 1 1835. Quoted from: Leshchinsky. P. 102.
- Detailed studies of Russian publications about Hogarth and the printing of his works include: Levin, Yu. 'William Hogarth and Russian Literature'; Makarova, T.'Hogarth in Russian Magazines of the 19th Century' // "William Hogarth's Aesthetics and Modernity". Research Institute of Theory and History of Visual Art, Russian Academy of Sciences. (Moscow: 1993). See also: Stepanova, S. 'The"Russian Hogarth": Pavel Fedotov and the European Tradition of the Moralising Genre' // "Tretyakov Conference. 2013. Presentations at the Academic Conference". Moscow: 2014. Pp. 118-133.
- 'Hogarth' //"khudozhestvannaya gazeta" (Art Gazette). 1838. No. 11. P. 364.
- "Zhivopisnoe obozrenie" (Painting Review). 1837-1838. Vol. III. P. 184.
- From the notebooks. Quoted from: Leshchinsky. P. 119.
- Quoted from: Viktor Zhervais [Russified French, Gervais or Gervex]. Pavel Andreevich Fedotov.'Biographical Essay: On the 50th anniversary of His Death'. "Voyennyi sbornik" (Military Review). 1902. #11.
- Quoted from: Leshchinsky. P. 175.
- "Otechestvennye zapiski" (Annals of the Fatherland). 1846. № 10. P. 249-270.
- Department of Manuscripts, Russian Museum. Fund 9. Item 35. Sheet 9.
- Department of Manuscripts, Russian Museum. Fund 9. Item 25. Sheet 1.
- Druzhinin. Quoted from: Bulgakov. P. 12.
- From the notebooks. Quoted from: Leshchinsky. P. 116.
- Pavel Fedotov's letter to his father. St. Petersburg, 1839. Department of Manuscripts, Tretyakov Gallery. Fund 9. No. 31. Sheet 3-3 reverse.
- A.O. (Ochkin),'Several Words about Fedotov. Quoted from: "Pavel Fedotov. On the Occasion of the 175th Anniversary of His Birth". Catalogue. St. Petersburg, 1993. P. 26.
- From Alexander Druzhinin's memoir about Pavel Fedotov. 1853. Quoted from: Bulgakov, Fyodor."Pavel Fedotov and His Artwork’. Moscow: 1893. P. 14.
- See: Department of Manuscripts, Tretyakov Gallery. Fund 9. Item 6. Sheet 2.
- Quoted from: Leshchinsky. Pp. 164-165.
- In 1844 the artist's sister Lyuba married V. Vishnevsky, a scribe at the Moscow Orphans' Court, and was widowed in 1850. Her deceased husband had bankrupted the family; the poor woman's three-month-old son Nikolai died in 1845, and her infant son Vladimir in 1849. On May 20 1850, she gave birth to a daughter. See: Atsarkina, E. "Pavel Fedotov and His Family in Moscow’. Moscow: 1953.
- A note to Beideman. Department of Manuscripts, Tretyakov Gallery. Fund 9. Item 42. Sheet 1.