Painting by Kramskoy “The Mermaids”

In the 1870s Ivan Nikolayevich Kramskoy was engaged in the organization of the Association of Wanderers and was his spiritual leader. At the same time he was attracted by the theme of the beauty of the lunar Ukrainian night, as if mesmerized by the mystery of the moonlight.

The picture of Kramskoy “The Mermaid” is not an illustration of the episode of Nikolai Gogol’s story, he set himself other important tasks. The artist creates a fabulous enchanted world, close to the real world, in which the trembling of the moonlight is so fascinating that nature animates. In the picture there is no falsehood, lie and bias – it’s like a believable fantastic dream.

The year 1871 was very important for Kramskoy. He was organizing the first exhibition of the Association of Traveling Art Exhibitions, at which it was necessary in the best light to present the activities of the new association to the viewer. The best paintings were chosen for this exhibition, among them were several portraits of Kramskoy and his painting “The Mermaids”. But on the last one there was a remark with the name of the source: “On the story from the story of N. Gogol” May Night “.

Although the picture did not fall under the concept of “critical realism,” it conveys the author’s attitude to his work. The artist wanted to portray something “fantastic” and unusual, “catch the moon”, while not forgetting the trends. Kramskoy easily and freely transformed the description of Gogol’s plot, which, when studying the picture in depth, the viewer can easily see this.

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Painting by Kramskoy “The Mermaids”