For many years, I walked past this painting every morning with out every understanding its importance. Today, I know that it represents my family’s appreciation for history and education. The original copy, named “The Hunters at Rest”, was painted by Vasily Grigorevich Perov, a founding member of Peredvizhniki and one of the most studied Soviet artists of the 20th century, in 1871. Before my grandmother moved to Odessa to marry my grandfather, she lived in Izmail, a city 250 kilometers from Odessa. Her parents, Vladimir Ivanovich and Polina Grigoriavna, were both dedicated historians who taught at the local high school for over forty-five years each. The painting, which now hangs in my home, resided in the school theatre ever since the replica was bought by the school in 1917. The purpose of the painting was to remind students the importance of elders and their value to them. It also served to motivated professors by reiterating the fact that the development of young minds lay in their hands. After being a history professor for over thirty years and the director of the school for an additional seventeen, the school gifted the painting to my great grandfather to commemorate his work. After my great grandfather died, my great grandmother passed it down to my father because she wanted him to take it to New York. Today, the painting serves as a constant reminder of my family’s love for history, our dedication to school, and to me: a symbol of my family’s accomplishments.
– Michael Kaydin