March 17, 1856 in Omsk was born Russian artist Mikhail Alexandrovich Vrubel, who worked in almost all types and genres of fine art: painting, drawing, decorative sculpture and theatrical art.
In the 1880s-1890s, Vrubel's creative quest was not supported by the Academy of Arts and art critics. Vrubel artists and critics who later united around the World of Art magazine made “their own”, his works began to be constantly exhibited at expositions of world view artists and Dygilev retrospectives, and at the beginning of the 20th century Vrubel's painting became an organic part of Russian modern. "For fame in the artistic field" November 28, 1905 he was awarded the title of academician of painting - just at the time of the complete cessation of artistic activity.
Today we want to share with you some of the fruits of the work of the famous Russian artist.
The Virgin and Child, 1884
Left: complete version. Right: sketch in Italian pencil, 1884
The icon was created in 1884-1885 for the design of a single-tier marble iconostasis of the Church of St. Cyril in Kiev. It was this work that made Vrubel famous to the general public and served as the starting point in his subsequent career as an artist and decorator. Despite the fact that the image is made according to all canons of Orthodox iconography, critics note its expressiveness and singularity.
Art critics, critics and artists unanimously recognized the success of not only the image of the Mother of God, but also other works performed by Vrubel in the Church of St. Cyril. For example, the well-known collector P. M. Tretyakov praised Vrubel’s work, came to Kiev to see her and lamented that he could not get it for his collection, and the critic and gallery owner S. K. Makovsky believed that Vrubel’s debut work in Kirillovskaya the church is “the highest achievement of Vrubel,” and stressed that this achievement is “deeply national”, rejecting Vrubel’s accusations of “non-Russian (Polish) origin” and “aesthetic cosmopolitanism,” and art critic and critic A. Benoit also noted the skill of Vrubel andemphasized that, in comparison with the works of Vrubel in the Church of St. Cyril, the frescoes of V. M. Vasnetsov "seem to be superficial illustrations".
The girl on the background of the Persian carpet, 1886
The painting depicts a teenage girl wearing a pink satin dress against a Persian rug, the girl’s hands are placed on the rose and the richly inlaid dagger, the traditional emblems of love and death. On the neck of the girl is a pearl necklace, the fingers of the hands are studded with rings.
To our time, the paint picture is noticeably darkened. Vrubel was often in a hurry to work and violated the technology, using retouching varnishes, which quickly dried the surface of the painting. Currently, the picture is on display in the collection of the Kiev Museum of Russian Art.
Flying demon 1899
This is an unfinished painting by Mikhail Vrubel, written in 1899 and being part of a series of illustrations to Mikhail Lermontov’s poem “The Demon”. He did not finish the job for an unknown reason.
Demon Fallen, 1902
In 1900, Vrubel again turns to the topic of "The Demon". Still not finished the painting “The Flying Demon”, in 1901 the artist began to write preliminary sketches for the painting “The Defeat Defeated”. Vrubel was generally healthy, although others noted his irritability. Despite the mostly negative reviews of critics of the time, his popularity among connoisseurs of painting grew.
The picture is made on canvas with oil. Its background is the highlands in the scarlet sunset. The composition emphasizes the constrained figure of the demon, as if squeezed between the upper and lower frames of the crossbar. The picture is painted in the individual style of Vrubel with the effect of crystal faces, which makes his paintings more like stained glass windows or panels. The artist achieved this effect with the help of flat strokes made with a palette knife.
Demon sitting, 1890
The demon is an image of the strength of the human spirit, of internal struggle, of doubt. Tragically clasping his hands, he sits with sad, huge eyes directed into the distance, surrounded by unprecedented colors. The background of the painting is the highlands in the scarlet sunset. The composition emphasizes the constrained figure of the demon, as if squeezed between the upper and lower frames of the crossbar.
In 1891, Vrubel wrote thirty illustrations for the anniversary edition of Lermontov's works edited by Konchalovsky. Most of the work related to Lermontov's poem “The Demon”, which we have already mentioned above. A sketch of this painting was created in 1890, stored in the State Tretyakov Gallery.
The painting depicts Pan - the character of ancient Greek mythology. However, he is depicted against the background of a typical north-Russian landscape (plain, curve of birch, forest, river), which makes him a leshe
The painting was painted in 1899, it refers to the so-called “Fairy-tale cycle” and is considered its peak. Written during the stay of the artist and his wife in the estate of Princess Maria Tenisheva (village Khotylevo, Oryol Province). At first, Vrubel began to paint a portrait of his wife against a forest landscape, but he did not finish it and just a few days later he painted a new picture on the same canvas. The source of inspiration for Vrubel was Anatol Frans's story “The Holy Satyr”.
Portrait of K. D. Artsybushev, 1897
About the portrait of Konstantin Dmitrievich Artsybushev, written by Mikhail Alexandrovich Vrubel, we can say that this is a portrait of the Russian intellectual of the time of the formation of capitalism in Russia.
The hero of the portrait is a person of a new formation, a new industrially developing Russia, a country in which not only the nobility of origin, but also intelligence, talent and active citizenship are beginning to be appreciated. Therefore, the artistic means chosen by Vrubel, respectively. Nothing external, conspicuous. Artsybushev is sitting at the table with the books spread out in his office. Behind the shelf there are also books and business papers. The red color of the graying Artsybushev butterfly and the slightly collected carpet on the floor defuse the monotony of the gray-green shades of the picture. This is a traditional realistic portrait, the hero of which does not pose, but on the contrary, is in a state of thought, in a comfortable position, in a comfortable and familiar setting. But this portrait would not have been Vrubel, if in the image of Artsybushev there was no internal dynamics, like a twisted spring. A bluff inclination of the head, a broken turn of the shoulders, a gloomy look from under wide eyebrows - the thoughts of the hero are far from contemplative. During the creation of the portrait of Artsybushev, Vrubel had already invented his “Demon”.
Princess of Dreams, 1896
Vrubel's panel "Princess of Dreams" is called the most famous panel of Moscow. It was created on the plot of the drama in Edmond Rostand's poems “La Princesse lointaine”, in the Russian translation by T. L. Shchepkina-Kupernik, which was named “Princess of Dreams”. The premiere of the play on the Russian stage took place in January 1896 in St. Petersburg. The romantic story of the sublime desire for love and perfect beauty, the contemplation of which is achieved at the cost of death, was a resounding success with the public.
The picturesque panel is now on display in the Vrubel Hall in the Tretyakov Gallery.
The Swan Princess, 1900
The princess from the canvas of Vrubel is mysterious and mysterious, her face is sad. The Tsarevna Swan is depicted against the background of twilight descending over the sea, a narrow strip of sunset on the horizon and a distant city (the background was the scenery for the play - the city of Lollipop, made by the artist).
The painting is dedicated to the character of the opera Rimsky-Korsakov “The Tale of Tsar Saltan” (after Pushkin’s novel). A. P. Ivanov spoke about this picture: “Isn't the Virgin-Grudge herself, that, according to the words of the ancient poem,“ splash swan-wings on the blue sea ”before the days of great disasters?”, Referring to the character from “The Word about the regiment Igoreve. Alexander Blok also loved this picture and always kept its reproduction in his office in Shakhmatovo. She inspired a great poem with the subtitle "Vrubel".