Thursday, December 18, 2008

Mikhail Vrubel

Russian artist Mikhail Vrubel (1856-1910) is our focus this week.

Demon Seated
By Mikhail Vrubel

Demon Seated (1890) was Vrubel's first large canvas, which, though vehemently criticized by contemporaries, elevated Vrubel to a whole new plane of artistic expression. Vrubel had developed the theme of Demon, a hero of Mikhail Lermontov’s poem, from 1885. With Vrubel, Demon becomes the incarnation of the romantic spirit. Demon starts out full of hope, searching for harmony and truth, beauty and love. For a brief moment, he even seems to find what he longs for. But eventually his hopes are crushed. He becomes disillusioned and boils with rebellion. In the end, he himself is crushed and thrown out. This world has no place for him. (Information from Russian Art Gallery, Victor Potoskuev)

The Pearl
By Mikhail Vrubel

By Mikhail Vrubel

By Mikhail Vrubel

You can read more about Vrubel's creative life and his sad end here.

Some other great works from the Russian Art Gallery include Ilya Repin's Ivan the Terrible and His Son Ivan, Nikolay Yaroshenko's Life is Everywhere, and Victor Vasnetsov's Sirin and Alkonost, Birds of Joy and Sadness.

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