Painting, Polenov – description

Painting, Polenov – description
Painting, Polenov - description - 1

  • Author: Vasily Dmitrievich Polenov
  • Museum: Tretyakov Gallery
  • Year: 1886

Overview of the painting :

Sick – Vasily Dmitrievich Polenov. 1886. Oil on canvas. 135 x 187 cm.

   This picture is something special in the work of an artist who never again returned to such gloomy and modern motives in his painting. The theme of the canvas, which has been written for a long 13 years, is inspired by a whole series of losses in the life of the master, from the untimely death of the first child in the family to the death of his beloved sister.

   That is why the picture is somewhat abstract – there is no clear image of the face of a sick woman, it drowns in darkness, only its suffering expression is distinguishable. This is a collective image of all the sick who are about to leave this world.

   This is a very gloomy canvas with a predominant dark range. It depicts a room with a sick woman’s bed, shaded, drowning in darkness. The only ray of light is a table lamp with an inclined lampshade so that the light does not hit the woman’s face. Her light is a ray of life, tearing out individual fragments by the darkness – a nightstand with a glass, books and a glass decanter with water, part of the bed with a thin and fragile, pale hand of a sick woman lying powerlessly on her.

   It is permeated with longing and misunderstanding why and why such a young creature should leave this world so early. It seems that the man sitting by the bed has stepped aside to cry alone and pour out his sadness and sadness.