Vasily Vladimirovich Pukirev (1832-1890) was a Russian painter and illustrator. He is primarily known as the artist of the painting The Unequal Marriage. Vasily studied at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. He first worked as a portraitist but later turned to historical painting.
The Unequal Marriage (1862), is a painting depicting the wedding ceremony of an elderly, high-ranking official and a young, visibly unhappy girl. This was one of the celebrated denunciatory pictures of the 1860s, revealing the unequal position of women and the corruption of bureaucracy. This critical mode, reflecting the general striving for reform in Russia after the Emancipation reform of 1861, was intended to arouse the dormant social conscience and change society. The Unequal Marriage is currently on display at the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow.