The rose in the glass is one of Vrubel’s best drawings made by him in the hospital. The artist claimed that the basis of all beauty is “a form that is created by nature for ever: it is the bearer of the soul that opens to you and tells you yours.” This means that I do not interpret nature, but nature explains it, explains it to me. the very nature is personalized, turns into an animated interlocutor. ” Rosa in the picture lives and tells us her story, as if talking about something very intimate, tremulous and at the same time tragic.
In the drawings of Vrubel, even the runaways, there is never a sluggish approximation: the artist’s drawing technique is sharpened like a sharp stiletto. Most often it transmits the form of a network of intermittent strokes, brittle, intersecting. From their webs there are ornamental effects, the pattern can recall the whimsical patterns of ice needles. If you look closely, you can see that not a single stroke
is put by chance or only “for beauty” – it outlines the plan of the form, characterizes the texture. Rumpled jackets and jackets in men’s portraits – what could be more prosaic? – but, it turns out, the location of folds with alternating shadows and light has a complex rhythm, detected through the drawing. Or here is a continuous blanket of snow, animated only by a narrow thawed patch and darkening in the distance bare branches. How to convey graphically this simple motive, it would seem, not rich in shades? In the figure, if you look close, you can see whimsical combinations of jerky direct dashes without a single curve or a round line – almost a fantastic pattern. But at a distance the strokes are concealed, and before us is not a flat white space, but a distinctly tangible texture of snow, friable, locally melted.
Special beauty Vrubel’s drawings are given by rich gradations of dark and light, very accurately found relationships between them. So it was in the illustrations to Lermontov – a game of spots of varying degrees of light saturation created the
illusion of a colorful carpet. In drawings from nature, much simpler in the plot and interpretation, you can be sure that such a reception was not something deliberate, but flowed from the contemplation of real objects. Vrubel, drawing, always began with the laying of the main spots – from dark to light. In bright places, with the touch of a sharpened pencil, I planned the necessary details and applied those light dashed arabesques, which simultaneously formed a form (without them, the bright places would look flat), and carried in themselves the unique charm of the Vrubel handwriting. Sometimes he could just leave a piece of paper white, untouched – the relationship scale was found so unmistakably that the white piece of paper “was objectified.” So, anyone who sees a simple and charming pencil drawing “The Yard in the Winter” will say with certainty that there is a snowdrift in the foreground, and further away – a porch covered with snow. It seems as if there are shadows on the snowdrift. In fact, snow is represented by a clean leaf surface, completely untouched by a pencil.
The artist diversified his methods of drawing. With rapid sketches of groups of people chatting, reading, playing cards, playing chess, he limited himself to comparing the big spots of dark and light and lowering the elaboration of details. Nevertheless, the groups of “players” immersed in their occupation and, probably, not even noticing that they are being drawn, are caught in all life’s ease. Five at the table play cards. Actually, they do not see the cards in their hands, but it is immediately clear that the card game is going and the players gathered in it are absorbed from the player in the foreground, even the back, even the folds on the suit, barely outlined, express the state of concentration. Very expressive is the figure of the young “fan” who climbed with his feet on the couch – he does not participate in the game, but watches it with great curiosity. Even better, perhaps, chess players. One deliberately pondering the move, his partner leaned back in the couch, his hands in his pockets, relaxed somewhat, but he did not take his eyes off the board, apparently figuring out how he would proceed. The third observes.
In Vrubel’s drawings, the background is always rhythmically coordinated with the image and is included in the image, be it a background of subject, ornamental or neutral, shaded. NA Prakhov in his memoirs says: “I remember how Mikhail Alexandrovich told me… that artists usually make the mistake of writing something or drawing from nature, they follow only the outline of the subject that does not actually exist. You should always check yourself against the outlines of the background, you need to monitor its “ornamentality” – then everything will be tightly connected. “