ⓘ Low Marks Again


ⓘ Low Marks Again

Low Marks Again is a painting by Fyodor Pavlovich Reshetnikov, created in 1952.

Due to its realistic plot, the painting was used in the Soviet school curriculum as a topic for writing an essay. The painting was well known to the Soviet public.


1. Subject

In the painting we see a family that meets a boy who came home from school with the failing grade D. The boy looks like a loser, his clothes are unbuttoned, with wrinkled coat, pants, black shoes - a casual look. In his right hand he holds a tied bag that seems to have served as a ball and a sled to its master, with old skates sticking out. His blond hair is rumpled, his protruding ears are red, ruddy from skating in the cold air, which does not tally at all with his artificially disappointed face. He sighs, his whole appearance is an act of faking "genuine" sadness because of the failing grade. The boy is joyfully greeted by a dog, it is very fond of the boy, as if it asks: "Come and play with me."

On the right side, his mother sits down, as if pausing her housework. Seeing his sad but flushed from the cold face, she realized that the boy played plenty enough on the street and he is not really worried about received low marks. The mother is upset and tired, she realizes that her son is a slacker. The woman does not know how to influence her lazy son, she drops her hands. Next to the mother is the younger brother on his bike, who laughs at the older brother, knowing full well what is going on.

At the dinner table, the older sister is doing homework. She stood up, looking reproachfully at her sloppy brother. Her posture, the turn of her head, and the bright red scarf of a Communist "Pioneer" like a Soviet Eagle Scout, all testify that she does not approve of the behavior of this loser. Her figure is prominently displayed as a dark silhouette in a bright doorway. The window behind her creates a dual lighting pattern and symbolizes her own bright future. The tortured reaction of the people is in stark contrast with the sincere joy of the animal, which exaggerates the importance of something as trivial as a school grade.