The Merchant's Wife by Boris Kustodiev
Painting completed 1912 Russian Stamp Issued 1978
The Russian Museum, St Petersburg
This is the most famous painting by this Russian painter who used bright colours and realism in his work. There is a hint of satire in this work, as the cat looks as though it is about to make a big mess of the rich merchant's wife's table. The use of colour and brightness constrasts with the artist's life at this time as he was confined to a wheelchair in his studio from 1912.
Although he did travel outside Russia for training and medical reasons, he constantly depicted scenes from Russian life with an emphasis on merchants and folk life.