Painting “Crutters”, Kram, 1871

Painting “Crutters”, Kram, 1871
Painting "Crutters", Kram, 1871 - 1

  • Posted by Ivan Nikolaevich Kramskaya
  • Museum: Tretyakov Gallery
  • Year: 1871

Overview of the painting :

Mermaids – Kram. 1871. Oil on canvas. 88 x 132

   The painting “May Night” or “Hands” was written under the impression of the story of the same name by Nikolai Gogol. Kramskaya loved this writer very much and reread his works more than once. But to say that the picture is an illustration of the Gogol story is impossible. Rather, the great classic was just the inspirer of the painter. By the power of the literary word, he created a magnificent description of the mysterious world with its sorcerers, mermaids and other mysterious evil spirits, but now he intercepted the baton of Kram, adopting the power of color, light and form.

   The artist did not see the creation of a fabulous, mythical world as his task, but a description of the real world, which is incomprehensiblely translated under the mysterious light of the moon. “I’m currently trying to catch the moon … A difficult lunar thing,” Kram Vasiliev wrote in Yalta.

   Judging by what the picture turned out, the moon “catch” the painter still succeeded. The riverbed is depicted on canvas by the river, flooded with mysterious light, on which they sit in white robes, as if in savanas, young drowned girls who turned into marvelous mermaids, sad and unhappy. On the right you can distinguish the light of the estate, in the distance you can see the forest.

   Many sketches of the picture have survived, which prove how painstakingly the author worked on the details and form. Many adjustments were made at the stage of writing the canvas itself – Kramskaya was always dissatisfied with something. It is known that even a year later, Tretyakov acquired the picture as a picture, the artist asked to return the picture in order to “work a little”.