Mikhail Vrubel

Self-portrait, HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1885» \o
«1885» 1885

Mikhail Aleksandrovich Vrubel ( HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_language» \o «Russian language»
Russian : Михаил Александрович Врубель; HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/March_17» \o «March 17» March 17 ,
HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1856» \o «1856» 1856 —
HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/April_14» \o «April 14» April
14 , HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1910» \o «1910» 1910 ,
all HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/N.s.» \o «N.s.» n.s. ) is
usually regarded as the greatest HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russia» \o «Russia» Russian painter of
the HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Art_Nouveau» \o «Art
Nouveau» Art Nouveau movement. In reality, he deliberately stood aloof
from contemporary art trends, so that the origin of his unusual manner
should be sought in the Late Byzantine and Early Renaissance painting.

Contents

HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/» \l «Early_life» 1 Early
life

HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/» \l «Controversial_fame» 2
Controversial fame

HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/» \l «Decline» 3 Decline

HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/» \l «Works» 4 Works

HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/» \l «External_links» 5
External links

Early life

Vrubel was born in the HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omsk»
\o «Omsk» Omsk city ( HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siberia» \o «Siberia» Siberia ), in a
military lawyer’s family and graduated from the Law Faculty of
HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Petersburg_University» \o «St
Petersburg University» St Petersburg University in 1880. Next year he
entered the HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imperial_Academy_of_Arts» \o «Imperial
Academy of Arts» Imperial Academy of Arts , where he studied under
direction of HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pavel_Tchistyakov» \o «Pavel Tchistyakov»
Pavel Tchistyakov . Even in his earliest works, he exhibited striking
talent for drawing and highly idiosyncratic outlook. Although he still
relished academic monumentality, he would later develop a penchant for
fragmentory composition and «unfinished touch».

Demon Seated in a Garden, 1890

In HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1884» \o «1884» 1884 , he
was summoned to replace the lost 12th-century murals and mosaics in the
St Cyril church of HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kiev» \o
«Kiev» Kiev with the new ones. In order to execute this commission, he
went to HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venice» \o «Venice»
Venice to study the medieval Christian art. It was here that, in the
words of an art historian, «his palette acquired new strong saturated
tones resembling the iridescent play of precious stones». Most of his
works painted in Venice have been lost, because the artist was more
interested in creative process than in promoting his artwork.

In HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1886» \o «1886» 1886 , he
returned to Kiev, where he submitted some monumental designs to the
newly-built HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Volodymir_Cathedral» \o «St Volodymir
Cathedral» St Volodymir Cathedral . The jury, however, failed to
appreciate the striking novelty of his works, and they were rejected. At
that period, he executed some delightful illustrations for HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamlet» \o «Hamlet» Hamlet and
HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anna_Karenina» \o «Anna
Karenina» Anna Karenina which had little in common with his later dark
meditations on the Demon and Prophet themes.

1905 he created the mosaics on the hotel «Metropol» in Moscow, the
centre piece of the facade overlooking Teatralnaya Ploschad is taken by
the mosaic panel, ‘Princess Gryoza’ (Princess of Dream).

Controversial fame

HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Tale_of_Tsar_Saltan_%28Rimsky-Korsakov
%29» \o «The Tale of Tsar Saltan (Rimsky-Korsakov)» The Swan Princess
(1900)

While in Kiev, Vrubel started painting sketches and watercolours
illustrating the Demon, a long Romantic poem by HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mikhail_Lermontov» \o «Mikhail Lermontov»
Mikhail Lermontov . The poem described the carnal passion of «an eternal
nihilistic spirit» to a Georgian girl Tamara. At that period Vrubel
developed a keen interest in Oriental arts, and particularly HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persian_carpet» \o «Persian carpet»
Persian carpets , and even attempted to imitate their texture in his
paintings.

In 1890, Vrubel moved to HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moscow» \o «Moscow» Moscow where he
could best follow innovative trends in art. Like other artists
associated with the Art Nouveau, he excelled not only in painting but
also in HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Applied_arts» \o
«Applied arts» applied arts , such as HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ceramics_%28art%29» \o «Ceramics (art)»
ceramics , HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Majolica» \o
«Majolica» majolics , and HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stained_glass» \o «Stained glass» stained
glass . He also produced architectural masks, HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stage_set» \o «Stage set» stage sets ,
and HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Costume» \o «Costume»
costumes .

The Artist’s Wife (1898)

It is the large painting of Seated HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demon» \o «Demon» Demon (1890) that
brought notoriety to Vrubel. Most conservative critics accused him of
«wild ugliness», whereas the art patron HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Savva_Mamontov&action=edit»
\o «Savva Mamontov» Savva Mamontov praised the Demon series as
«fascinating symphonies of a genius» and commissioned Vrubel to paint
decorations for his private opera and mansions of his friends.
Unfortunately the Demon, like other Vrubel’s works, doesn’t look as it
did when it was painted, as the artist added HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bronze» \o «Bronze» bronze powder to his
oils in order to achieve particularly luminous, glistening effects.

In 1896, he fell in love with the famous HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opera» \o «Opera» opera singer Nadezhda
Zabela. Half a year later they married and settled in Moscow, where
Zabela was invited by Mamontov to perform in his private opera theatre.
While in Moscow, Vrubel designed stage sets and costumes for his wife,
who sang the parts of the Snow Maiden, the Swan Princess, and Princess
Volkhova in HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikolai_Rimsky-Korsakov» \o «Nikolai
Rimsky-Korsakov» Rimsky-Korsakov ‘s operas. Falling under spell of
Russian fairy-tales, he executed some of his most acclaimed pieces,
including HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pan_%28mythology%29»
\o «Pan (mythology)» Pan (1899), The Swan Princess (1900), and Lilacs
(1900).

Decline

In 1901, Vrubel returned to the demonic themes in the large canvas Demon
Downcast. In order to astound the public with underlying spiritual
message, he repeatedly repainted the demon’s ominous face, even after
the painting had been exhibited to the overwhelmed audience. At the end
he had a severe HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nervous_breakdown» \o «Nervous breakdown»
nervous breakdown , and had to be hospitalized to a mental clinic. While
there, he painted a mystical Pearl Oyster (1904) and striking variations
on the themes of HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Pushkin» \o «Alexander Pushkin»
Pushkin ‘s poem The Prophet. In HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1906» \o «1906» 1906 , overpowered by
mental disease and approaching HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blindness» \o «Blindness» blindness , he
had to give up painting.

Works

Portrait of HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valery_Bryusov» \o
«Valery Bryusov» Valery Bryusov . HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1906» \o «1906» 1906

HYPERLINK «http://www.abcgallery.com/V/vrubel/vrubel.html» \o
«http://www.abcgallery.com/V/vrubel/vrubel.html» Mikhail Vrubel Gallery

The HYPERLINK «http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bogatyr» \o «Bogatyr»
Bogatyr (Hero) is a decorative oil on canvas panel painted in 1898. It
is displayed in The Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia. HYPERLINK
«http://www.abcgallery.com/V/vrubel/vrubel54.html» \o
«http://www.abcgallery.com/V/vrubel/vrubel54.html» [1]

External links

Fine arts museum in his native city HYPERLINK
«http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omsk» \o «Omsk» Omsk is entitled in
honour of Vrubel

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