The picture shows the daughter of the owner of the loan office in Kiev, but there is no inclination to individualize the character and portrait psychology. If, in connection with a composition with such a profoundly serious theme as Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane, Vrubel could talk about the “slight sweetness” of the plot, then in this sense, the Girl, against the background of the Persian carpet, is directly “rahat-lucum and rose water,” as Thomas Mann, referring to the flowery and fragrance of eastern poetry. But this sign of the salon aesthetics with its imperative “make me beautiful” determines the setting, the motif: under the beautifully flowing folded pattern of a carpet in the form of a canopy, a beautiful girl in a beautiful oriental dress, wrapped in handkerchiefs with brushes and painted patterns, pearls ” rings. But there is too much beauty, depressingly much: the entire mise-en-scene is gradually turning in the direction of mourning
associations. The girl is like one of those wives who were sent after the deceased ruler, before dressing up with all sorts of luxury, so that this luxury itself becomes a sign of willingness to sacrifice.
Powerlessly fallen hands are meaningful, cross-folded with palms on the rose and dagger – traditional emblems of love and death. But not this clue of talking attributes, and not just a doomed, sorrowful face-in the thickening of these associations, painting itself, and mainly painting, are involved. In it for the first time Vrubel found his color theme and colorful timbre: the sound of dense, gloomy tones with a shift to the cold part of the spectrum, sustained throughout the space of the canvas in a low register, is truly a unique phenomenon in the coloristic harmonies of Russian painting. Here the impressions of the Venetian painting of the early Renaissance, seen through the flickering of Byzantine mosaics, are translated. This is a ‘picturesque event’ and forms the plot of the canvas. Not painting accompanies the mood of the person, complements it, and the person complements, ‘tells’ which has already affected the color scheme of painting. This is not an aggravated ‘young maiden’, and the Sadness itself is the personification of that spirit by which the very picturesque matter of the picture is created and which is permeated. In essence, such personifications will be followed by a female figure in the painting Lilac. and fortune-teller in the same name, and both Demons in the paintings of 1890 and 1902.