The Major Makes a Proposal (Inspecting a Bride in a Merchant's House)

Pavel Fedotov1851

The State Russian Museum

The State Russian Museum
St. Petersburg, Russia

The subject of this painting is linked to a poem written by the artist entitled Correcting Circumstances, or The Major’s Marriage (Foreword to a Picture). The work is mentioned in A Description of the Paintings and Studies of Pavel Fedotov: “The Major’s Marriage. Unfinished picture. A matchmaker brings a major to a merchant’s house. The head of the household hastily button himself up. The confused daughter attempts to flee, but her mother holds her back by her dress. Both are dressed up to receive the suitor.

There are various things to eat on the table. The cook brings in a pie, while the caretaker carries in the wine. An old woman comes in from another room to ask what the preparations are for. The caretaker points to the entering matchmaker”. The Russian Museum owns a repeat version of the original painting (1848, Tret. Gal.), for which Pavel Fedotov was elected to the Imperial Academy of Arts.


  • Title: The Major Makes a Proposal (Inspecting a Bride in a Merchant's House)
  • Date Created: 1851
  • Physical Location: Russia
  • Physical Dimensions: w760 x h560 mm (Complete)
  • Type: painting
  • Rights: The State Russian Museum, 1897, The State Russian Museum
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Painter: Pavel Fedotov
  • Original Title: Сватовство майора
  • Medium Extent: Complete

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