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Sokolov’s painting “The Wedding” was painted in 1860. Here we see the traditional wedding festivities that took place in Ukrainian villages. A lot of people are depicted on the canvas - the whole village gathered to congratulate the bride and groom.
In the background is a white clay house from which dressed-up girls peep out. A large, sturdy tree grows right in front of the house. Probably, the artist depicted such a large tree as a symbol of fertility, wealth. Young girls and boys are dancing and having fun in front of the house. Four Cossack women in white shirts have fun at the festival. Several men sat under a large tree and play musical stringed instruments.
At the bottom of the canvas, we see three young children who still do not understand the reason for such fun and just sit and look at the dancers.
The main people of any wedding are the bride and groom. We see that a young couple has entered the gate and is approaching the dancers. A man in a white suit stopped in front of them, holding a bottle and a glass in his hands. Newlyweds are dressed in holiday costumes, but you can see that this is not a wedding outfit: there is no wreath of flowers, hair is not braided in braids. The girl is dressed in a white shirt, a red cape, holds a white patterned scarf in her hands. Such clothing of a young couple tells us that the picture is not the first, but the second day after the wedding. Traditionally, in Ukraine, the wedding lasted a week. It confirms that this is the second day of the wedding and another symbol - you can see that a large red flag is depicted right in the center of the picture.
This item has an important symbolic meaning. In Ukraine, it was very important that the girl marry exclusively virgin and immaculate. Such a red flag, also called the banner, means that the girl was not in close relations with a man before the wedding. If the flag was white, it would be a great shame both for the girl's family and for the groom's family. The red banner towering above the crowd is carried by the villagers, who are depicted in the depths of the picture.
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