The public was delighted with the painting. For this work, the Imperial Academy of Arts in St Petersburg awarded the author the title of professor (1863) and critics perceived that as a victory of new tendencies in art: “The Academy makes a professor of a man who painted a large canvas, but what canvas? A painting that depicts neither a fire, nor a battle, nor ancient or modern history…” Everyone was excited by its new and contemporary topic - the topic of the power of money and the author’s attitude to it. The latter was clearly expressed in the figure of the young man standing behind the bride. The attitude was shown so openly, that the painting was considered to be autobiographical and the young man’s image was assumed to be the artist’s self-portrait.
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