“After the concert. Portrait of Nadezhda Ivanovna Zabela-Vrubel by the fireplace ”, Mikhail Alexandrovich Vrubel

“After the concert. Portrait of Nadezhda Ivanovna Zabela-Vrubel by the fireplace ”, Mikhail Alexandrovich Vrubel
“After the concert. Portrait of Nadezhda Ivanovna Zabela-Vrubel by the fireplace ”, Mikhail Alexandrovich Vrubel - 1

    • Posted by Mikhail Vrubel
    • Museum: Tretyakov Gallery
    • Year: 1905

Overview of the painting :

After the concert. Portrait of Nadezhda Ivanovna Zabela-Vrubel by the fireplace – Mikhail Alexandrovich Vrubel. Canvas, pastel, coal 168.5 x 191.5 cm
Nadezhda Ivanovna Zabela is a beloved wife, a magnificent Russian singer and muse of Mikhail Alexandrovich Vrubel. It was a happy marriage, he adored his wife, created for her sketches of clothes and stage costumes, decoration for performances. And she was always with him, not leaving him in the days of severe mental illness. The artist wrote many of her portraits in different images. And only this, the last image, remains unfinished.

In a high fireplace decorated with carvings, a shogley of yellow-orange, red lights burn. On the couch next to him, a singer sits comfortably, enjoying the warmth. Leaning back and pulling out tired legs in elegant white shoes on a heels, she rests on a high back with her right hand, bent in the elbow. The performance is completed, and noticeably, as a woman resting in silence is tired.

Turning her head a little, she calmly poses to the artist, a soft smile lurked on her lips. Several strands of dark brown hair knocked out of a high lush hairstyle. The dark color of the upholstery of the couch emphasizes the warm golden color of the thin face, a beautiful neck line. But stared sadness, carefully hidden excitement and anxiety for his beloved looks through fatigue.

Confident black strokes are drawn by the painter of the outline of the concert dress he invented. A wide skirt decorated with frills, waves drops to the floor. However, tender coral shades of the lower outfit are visible through dark lines. A translucent fabric similar to a mosaic folded from cream-white crystals gives the top dress airiness and weightlessness. A pearl brooch flickers on his chest mysteriously.

The faint, calm colors with which Mikhail Vrubel writes his wife speak of the warmth of feelings, true love and gratitude. However, he is sick, his soul is breaking, everything around seems gloomy and tragic. The sharp, frequent strokes with which the artist fills the space around the figure of Nadezhda Ivanovna, in some places very chaotic, carried out with strong pressure, bring emotional tension and despair into the picture. Dark blue-green, gloomy marshy-brown colors fill with a sense of sorrow.

The artist’s vision deteriorated sharply, he almost did not distinguish between colors, so he stopped working on the picture, leaving it unsigned.

The portrait leaves a double impression – on one side quiet tenderness, trembling admiration, and on the other – doom, loneliness and confusion of feelings.

Talent Mikhail Vrubel is undeniable, his works, ambiguous, full of mysteries and charm, do not leave anyone indifferent.