"Paintings, like Music..."[1] THE NOCTURNES OF MIKHAIL VRUBEL AND KONSTANTIN KOROVIN

Darya Manucharova

Article: 
POINT OF VIEW
Magazine issue: 
#3 2021 (72)

In the beauty of musicality,
As in motionless specularity,
I found the outlines of dreams.
Konstantin Balmont “Chords”

“Painting, like music, like a poet’s verses, should always inspire enjoyment in the viewer. Beauty alone is what artists gift their viewers.”[2] This phrase belongs to Konstantin Korovin, but many artists working at the turn of the 20th century would have been willing to put their names to it, and none more so than his friend, Mikhail Vrubel, bewitched as he was by the music of an “entire person”, by that national, intimate note which he strove to “capture on canvas and in ornament.” [3]

Mikhail VRUBEL. At Nightfall. 1900
Mikhail VRUBEL. At Nightfall. 1900
Oil on canvas. 131 × 182.5 cm. © Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow. Detail

This search for a “musical” expression of combinations of colour and form united representatives of various tendencies and movements in the art of the time, what collectively came to be encompassed by the French phrase fin de siècle. In the words of Grigory Sternin, this turn of phrase “contained within itself predictions of dramatic conflicts that were fated by the times to take place, and so fatally unavoidable.”[4] They were reflected in the philosophical thinking of the turn of the century, and in its literature and art, which were filled with motifs linked to presentiments of the “end of days,” of approaching catastrophes.

The most important tendencies of the time were a striving towards a synthesis of the arts, a tearing down of traditional conceptions about the hierarchy of genres and an erosion of the boundaries between the different arts, leading to the enrichment of each of them and the establishment of new aesthetic forms. Thanks to these efforts, it became possible to reflect the special lyrical-philosophical state in which a person found themselves when trying to conceptualise the new reality and either establish an emotional concordance with it or retreat from it into a fantasy world. One vivid product of the fin de siecle was the blossoming of nocturnes in both music and the fine arts. We owe the birth of this phenomenon to the age of romanticism (in the late 18th to early 19th century), when the depiction of lighting effects took on a more central role and artists addressing the theme of the night touched upon problems of spiritual suffering and mystical attitudes, as well as the secrets of creation. Instead of considering any night-time compositions nocturnes, the term came to be applied only to those in which the artist expressed a certain mood or spiritual state through a philosophical interpretation of nature.

Towards the end of the 19th century, the nocturne was gaining more and more the characteristics of an independent genre, although it would have been premature to name it as such. This process is characteristic of the tendency of the time to blur the boundaries between genres, something that Alexander Fyo- dorov-Davydov called the “de-narrativis- ation” of painting and the “landscapific- ation”[5] of genre.

The nocturne as a feature of painting at the turn of the 20th century is traditionally associated with the “night-time” paintings of Korovin, which he worked on at his estate of Okhotino in Vladimir Gov- ernorate. The term “nocturne” is, in our view, certainly the most accurate way of describing these paintings, filled as they are with musical harmony and located beyond the borders of any one particular genre.

Along with Korovin’s nocturnes, there is another set of fin de siecle works with nocturnal lighting that became a special phenomenon in the world of Russian art - those of Mikhail Vrubel. The fates of these two artists intersected many times, and Korovin left behind him memoirs of his friend that were filled with genuine delight in his talent, and in which he called Vrubel a genius. The pair were united by their striving for beauty and their desire to escape from narrative and didactic elements in art, although the paths they took to achieve these aims were completely different.

They both created artworks that were permeated with the mysteriousness of night, but Vrubel was interested in eternal themes, “imaginary worlds”[6], symbolic multiplicity, and the transformation of real images into fantastical ones. Korovin, on the other hand, painted nocturnes over the course of decades that were impressionistic both in terms of the choice of stylistic approach (rough texture, vivid colours) as well as in the choice of subjects (landscapes with depictions of moments from city and country life).

Vrubel’s canvases are filled with a sense of inner alarm (“At Nightfall”, 1900; “Lilac”, 1901), an emotionally charged atmosphere (“Demon Downcast”, 1902, all in the Tretyakov Gallery; “Six-Winged Seraph”, 1904, Russian Museum). Korovin’s works are either festive in mood (those painted in Paris and Crimea) or celebrations of the beauty and comforts of home (those painted in Okhotino).

Most of Vrubel’s paintings are set either at twilight or at night and many of them draw on the literary or theatrical impressions of the artist. Korovin’s canvases generally lack any particular source, although the nocturnes that date from his Okhotino period are linked with nostalgic feelings for the bygone era of the early 19th century.

One of Vrubel’s paintings that can uncontroversially be called a nocturne is “At Nightfall” (1900, Tretyakov Gallery). The moonlight, which generalises tone, is contrasted by the light of “the late-evening afterglow”[7], which picks out the horses, the blossoming thistles and the figure of the shepherd in the twilight and colours them in golden-vermilion tones. Stepan Yaremich, who witnessed the artist working at the farmstead in Chernigov Gover- norate belonging to Nikolai Ge, wrote: “The painting ‘At Nightfall’ reminds one vividly of evening strolls, when the luxurious purple hue of the thistles in the lonely, unsown field flares up for the final time before nightfall, while the leaden gloom is already thickening in the distance.”[8]

The occupants of Vrubel’s paintings are inseparable from the natural world around them - they are a part of it. In this sense, “At Nightfall” is comparable to Korovin’s canvas “Northern Idyll” (1892, Tretyakov Gallery), although, at first glance, the two paintings are completely different, especially in terms of their figurative approaches. In both paintings, the characters are not concrete, but composite.

In Vrubel’s painting, there is a strong elemental or pagan theme and, upon closer inspection, the herdsman is transformed into a mythical creature with horns, the spirit of nature. In “Northern Idyll,” the figure of the shepherd boy playing the reed pipes is associated with Lel, the Slavic god of love. Korovin painted his work even before his trip to the North, on the basis of his impression of a staging of the opera “Snow Maiden” at Savva Mamontov’s Russian Private Opera, and it reflected the artist’s conception of the “poetic symbol of Russia”. The balanced composition of Korovin’s canvas inspires peaceful meditation, while in terms of technique, it combines plein air painting for the landscape with a decorative approach to the portrayal of characters and their clothes, which are both flat and brightly coloured.

The lighting is like that of daytime, although, judging by the moon visible on the left-hand side, the time is early evening, while the soft, pastel tones are characteristic of the long twilights of the Russian North. The painting is entirely in tune with nocturnes in terms of its mood and its main motif is a musical one: girls, sunk deep in thought, listen to a shepherd’s playing. The motif of an artless melody is in keeping with the humble beauty of the Russian landscape.

The motif of music and the inclusion of characters from pagan mythology are also features of Vrubel’s painting “Pan” (1899, Tretyakov Gallery), in which the main figure is depicted with a reed panpipe in his hand. The artist has placed the ancient Greek god of forests and shepherds in the space of a Central-Russian landscape, thus “transforming” him into a leshy (woodland spirit) of Slavic mythology. It has been established that the figure of Pan was painted on top of a near-finished portrait of Vrubel’s wife, approached under the impressions inspired by Anatole France’s story “The Well of St. Clara”. In the tale, a Holy Satyr appears to the main character before dawn. As is often the case with Vrubel’s art, a real-world character was replaced with a fantastical one, while at the same time, the painting’s landscape was left unchanged, along with the most colourfully accented element within it - the thickly painted, ochre-yellow moon, in the act of sinking below the horizon.

In 1900 and 1901, Vrubel worked in a farmstead belonging to Nikolai Ge, where he created two paintings named “Lilac” (1900 and 1901, both in the collection of the Tretyakov Gallery). Thickly blossoming lilacs occupy nearly the entire space of both paintings, flaming in the night-time garden like violet tongues of fire. The pictorial task here is narrative, the “soul of the flower” is shown via the harmony of colour and form.

These paintings are difficult to classify within any single genre, but the term “nocturne” is perhaps the most capable of describing them. The artist’s premise is almost a challenge to the traditional conceptions of fine art: Vrubel himself said that he was absorbed by the idea of painting the lilac using the colour green alone.[9] The artist’s student, Leon Kowalski, speaking of his impressions of his teacher’s paintings, including both “Lilacs”, expressed himself in musical terms: “These canvases, which represented a sheer anthem of colour, resounded with power and a fateful strength. The colourful accords resonated with the striking forms and overall conception. [...] During a walk, an acquaintance and I observed how accurately Vrubel conveyed the feeling of the landscape.”[10]

In 1901, the artist bought a camera in order to capture definitively the flowering of the lilacs at the farmstead.[11] He often used photographs during his work on paintings and, in an 1887 letter to his sister, speaking of one such experience, he wrote: “Fate gifted me such wonderful materials as three photographs of the knoll in wonderful lighting ... you should also know that, in the photograph, there is an astounding illusion that the bright sun is the midnight moon. That is the lighting in which I fulfil the painting.”[12] It is obvious that Vrubel also used photographs in which his wife is posing against the background of a wide-spreading bush many years later when he was working on “Lilac”. Compositionally, these photographs are linked with the canvas, although they were taken in daylight, while in every painting and sketch the artist carried out related to the project, the lilac is shown at night. Spurning the natural, concrete image of the flowering lilac and the photographs of it, Vrubel creatively reworked this material. The world of reality and the fantastic intertwine in his artworks and these transformations are vividly embodied in his nocturnes.

The artist wrote to Rimsky-Korsakov to say that he would like to portray the maiden Tatiana13 on canvas and, to this day, researchers have not reached a consensus about which of the two “Lilac” paintings represents this image. He was likely inspired not only by Pushkin’s “Eugene Onegin”, but also by the eponymous opera by Tchaikovsky, or rather the staging of this latter work in which the part of Tatiana was sung by his own wife, Nadezhda Zabela, whose prototype can be made out in the unfinished figure located in the lower part of the 1901 canvas. Tatiana, on seeing Onegin, to whom she had written a letter declaring her love, “Brambles she snaps and lilacs crushes, / The flowerbeds skirts, the brook doth meet, / Till out of breath upon a seat / She sank.”[14]

Lilac was a favourite motif of many poets and artists, especially at the turn of the 20th century. As an aside, Zabela was one of the best performers of Rachmaninov’s romance “Lilac”, published in 1902. Although the way in which the artist and composer approached this image differed, the artistic and musical representations of “Lilac” are united by a fine empathy for the world of nature. Rachmaninov’s piece is filled with a quiet, lyrical meditativeness and, in the words of the music critic Boris Asafyev, romances such as “Lilac” “although by no means professing symbolism, were, in reality, reflections of the atmosphere of new, extremely fine soulfulness.”[15]

In 1900, Vrubel wrote to Vladimir von Meck that “I am painting two pieces: ‘At Nightfall’ and one ‘Night’.”[16] More likely than not, the second painting he refers to is the first “Lilac”, and thus the dark-haired girl depicted on the canvas can be embodiment of the night. The heroine’s silhouette, gently framed by branches, almost emerges from the depths of the lilac mirage, while a star shines in the visible patch of dark-navy sky. The images of the girl and the lilac are appear not to be real thanks to the effect of the moonlight.

Anonymous, mainly female figures are also a feature of many of Korovin’s nocturnes. Their inclusion in the pictorial space is, however, a more purely artistic or picturesque phenomenon: the depiction of the “clash” of light and shadow, the ambience of a room in Okhotino, transformed by the uneven light of candles or the flames of a stove, on which subject the artist himself wrote vividly: “The brushwood in the stove is burning brightly. The fire cheers the illuminated walls of my country workshop, and how beautifully the gold and blue porcelain vases shine on the windowsill, beyond which loom the dark silhouettes of the tall fir trees. Everything around is a single symphony of a night in springtime: the vases against the navy glass, the dark fir trees, the figure of the young, unfamiliar woman - all this merges into a single whole: night. The paints that I place on the canvas resound in their diversity, and the essence lives in the enchantment I feel for the silence of the night around me.”[17]

Many of Korovin’s pieces feature one of his favourite motifs - the terrace of the house at Okhotino, from which vantage point views of the forest opened up far off into the distance. Although the artist painted such scenes at various times of the day, his “nocturnal” works possess a special power of attraction. The artist’s guests, sitting at the table or standing by the window and depicted in generalised terms, populate these paintings. Some of them, although retaining elements of portraiture, are, in essence, abstracted images, often female figures sunk deep in thought, dressed and coiffured in the fashion of the Empire style. The luxurious gilded vases also date to the beginning of the 19th century and are another staple of the artist’s Okhotino period, featuring in pieces such as “Terrace” (1915, Taganrog Art Museum) and “Winter Twilight” (1916, Kaluga Museum of Fine Arts) among others. There is a sense of nostalgia in these nocturnes, conveyed by the beauty of the objects of a bygone era, depicted as they are in dim, mysterious candlelight.

Musicians were frequently guests at Okhotino, and Feodor Chaliapin in particular was a regular visitor. Romances and Russian folk songs could often be heard at the house, both very much in keeping with the muted beauty of the landscapes of Central Russia. Korovin had a strong sense of this unity with nature while he was working on his paintings, which are filled with free-flowing cascades of guitar and vocal music fading gently away beyond the windows (“Lady with a Guitar”, 1911, the Kostroma Historical, Architectural and Art Museum Reserve; “Still Life with a Portrait of Pertsova”, 1916, Tretyakov Gallery; “I Was Riding to See You”, 1921, Tretyakov Gallery). Speaking of Korovin’s work, Yelena Polenova was right to say that the artist strove “to produce not paintings, but music.”[18]

The first of Korovin’s nocturnes within the cycle “Paris Lights” appeared in the first half of the 1900s; the cycle was ultimately to contain paintings created over the course of the next almost 30 years. The majority of these canvases are cityscapes featuring the streets and boulevards of Paris, illuminated by a wealth of colourful lights: streetlights, illuminated shop signs, and, sometimes, a full moon (“Paris”, 1912, Tretyakov Gallery). Korovin depicted Paris in the eyes of a rapturous Russian artist, for whom this carnival city was an extravaganza of lights.

The Paris motifs were emotionally close to the landscapes painted in Crimea. In the landscapes “Southern Night” (1904, Rostov Regional Museum of Fine Arts) and “Yalta at Night” (1905, Nizhny Novgorod State Art Museum), the artist demonstrated the interplay between warm, artificial lighting and cool, natural light. The Crimean nocturnes are distinguished from the Parisian cityscapes by their greater space, the attention paid to the depiction of the sky and the portrayal of the deep, almost velvet navy colour so characteristic of southern nights.

Both artists did a lot of work for the theatre. The majority of performances for which Vrubel carried out the stage design were operas by Rimsky-Korsakov, whose music the artist considered “above and beyond all others”19. Vrubel’s wife, Nadezhda Zabela, who was also the composer’s favourite singer, reminisced that “without possessing any special knowledge of music, M.A. (Vrubel - D.M.) often astounded me with his valuable advice and some kind of deep penetration into the essence of things. [...] ‘I can listen to an orchestra for an eternity, especially the SEA’, said the artist. ‘Every time I listen to it, I find some new wonder in it, see some new fantastical tones.’ [...] He adored ‘Saltan’: here again is the orchestra, again a new sea in which, it seemed to me, M.A. first found his mother-of-pearl colours.”[20]

As is well known, Rimsky Korsakov possessed “colour hearing” or “chromatic sound-perception”.[21] He found clear analogies between combinations of colours, moods, and “formations of harmony and timbre”.[22] These analogies were reflected in the composer’s table of “sound-colour” sensations[23], in which we can find confirmation of the high degree of accuracy with which Vrubel understood the music and internal laws of Rimsky-Korsakov’s work.

For example, the introduction to the opera “Sadko” (“The Blue Ocean Sea”), which the artist could listen to endlessly, was written in A-flat Major. According to the composer, the colour of this scale was a greyish-purple[24], a shade rather close to the favourite colour of the artist. “His grasp and perfect mastery of these two different skills simultaneously - a completely convincing reproduction in music of the forms of occurrences and the sensations of c o l o u r along with an extremely fine, attentive and keen approach to human experiences - was what made Rimsky-Korsak- ov the greatest of all composers as a poet of nature and of people in nature,” was Mikhail Gnessin’s later evaluation of him.[25]

Mikhail VRUBEL. Sadko. 1898-1899
Mikhail VRUBEL. Sadko. 1898-1899
Oil on canvas. 84 × 430 cm. National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus, Minsk

We know of occasions when Vrubel transferred traditionally day-time narratives to night-time. Among these are his sets for Rimsky-Korsakov’s opera “The Tale of Tsar Saltan”, in which the artist strayed somewhat from a literal understanding of Pushkin’s text, which was commented upon by the authors of newspaper articles, and of which Vasily Shkafer wrote “those who came expecting to see a specific setting loyally reflecting the stage directions ... were disappointed and reproached the artist with the fact that, instead of them seeing a lonely oak, he had covered the island with trees, and that instead of the cloudless sky of the first act, the lighting was of evening or night-time.”[26]

Only sketches for one set of “A Tale of Tsar Saltan” has survived - “The city of Ledenets” (A.A. Bakhrushin State Central Theatre Museum, Private Collection) - but, fortunately, we have the chance to study photographs of the show’s staging, which allows us to form a certain impression of what the stage decorations looked like. The landscape background of the painting “The Swan Princess” (1900, Tretyakov Gallery) bears a resemblance to the decorations of the second act and particularly the scene of the first appearance of the opera’s eponymous heroine.

The impression produced by the painting “Swan” (1901, Tretyakov Gallery) is entirely different, although, that said, there is a range of parallels between it and “The Swan Princess”: the general layout of the composition, the positioning of the figures within the space and the colouring. The depiction of the swan is an extremely rare example of Vrubel addressing this motif as an independent element in his painting. In terms of its content, colouring and mood, the canvas brings to mind Caspar David Friedrich’s “Swans in the Reeds” (no later than 1832, Hermitage Museum). The evening lighting in both paintings imbues them with an atmosphere of mystery and secretiveness, characteristic to Romantic and Symbolist art.

In Vrubel’s painting, the bright figure of the swan with its enormous wings, its plumage painted in half-transparent mother-of-pearl tones, stands out against the dark background. Represented on canvas is a fantastical bird, portrayed by the artist as beautiful but defenceless. In terms of its emotional content, the work resonates with the “Song about a Dying Swan” from Rimksy-Korsakov’s opera “Pan Voyevoda”, which contains the following lines: “I see the melancholy sea-shore; there on the beach, its wings spread, / a swan lies, struck by an arrow. / His appearance is pitiful, feeble, pale; / he seeks his mate, but she does not come.”[27] It is as if the swan is cramped in the painting, as if it has no space to spread its gloomily drooping wings. The uneasy feeling that reigns in the piece is reinforced by the apprehensive state of nature at sunset. This unity of image and mood, achieved via the twilight landscape, permits the categorising of this painting as a nocturne.

At the same time as the artist was working on “Swan”, he was captured by a different image, which was to take shape on canvas in “Demon Downcast” (1902, Tretyakov Gallery), which was the culmination of his “Demon-Trilogy”. The lighting in each of the three pieces featuring the Demon is different, but, in each case, it is, undoubtedly, linked with the hero’s inner state.

The theme of eternal loneliness is present in these paintings, and it is most keenly felt in “Demon Downcast”, not least thanks to its lighting. The canvas is flooded with cold blue moonlight, which strengthens the ephemeral nature of the haggard, deathly-grey figure. The colour scheme of this painting has both much in common and many differences with others of Vrubel’s works set in night-time or evening landscapes. The artist’s characteristic lilac shade dominates in works such as “Bogatyr” (1898, Russian Museum), “Swan Princess” and “Lilac” and is also present in “Demon Downcast”, while the decorative, flaming-gold peacock feathers in this piece recall the thistles intertwining into an ornament in the painting “At Nightfall”.

Nonetheless, if the other paintings listed can, to a certain degree, be regarded as nocturnes, could “Demon Downcast” justifiably be called the same? In our opinion, it cannot. We recall the words of Alexandre Benois, who characterised the painting as a symphony of “mournful lilac, sonorous dark-blue and gloomy red tones.”[28] In other words, “Demon” is of a more powerful and full-toned genre than a nocturne and, in general, Vrubel’s art inclines more towards a specifically monumental, “symphonic” form by virtue of its inner tension, depth of content and expressiveness.

Thus, the nocturne, a special aesthetic phenomenon the roots of which go back to the era of Romanticism, received a new burst of development at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries, managing to encompass a multitude of meanings on various levels: musical, figurative, philosophical and more broadly cultural.

Although the study of nocturnes as a multifaceted phenomenon in art by way of comparing the “nocturnal” scenes of Vrubel and Korovin, the two most important painters of Russia’s Silver Age, can certainly be considered a fruitful one, for the time being, the development of the theme gives rise to more questions than answers.

 

  1. Quoted from: Konstantin Korovin remembers... [Konstantin Korovin vspominaet], (Moscow, 1990), p. 16.
  2. Ibid.
  3. Letter from M.A. Vrubel to A.A. Vrubel [Abramtsevo. Summer 1891] in: Vrubel: Correspondence. Reminiscences about the Artist [Vrubel: Perepiska. Vospominaniya o khudozhnike]. Compiled and annotated by E.P. Gomberg-Verzhbinskaya et al., (Leningrad, 1976), p. 57. (Below: Vrubel. 1976).
  4. G.Yu. Sternin, From Repin to Vrubel [Ot Repina do Vrubelya], (Moscow, 2009), p. 63.
  5. A.A. Fyodorov-Davydov, Russian Art of Industrial Capitalism [Russkoye iskusstvo promysh- lennogo kapitalizma], (Moscow, 1929), p. 12.
  6. A.A. Blok, “In Memory of Vrubel” [“Pamyati Vrubelya”] in: Art and Typography [Iskusstvo i pechatnoye delo], Nos. 8-9, (Kyiv, 1910), p. 309.
  7. V. S., “Exhibition of Paintings by the Moscow Association of Artists” [“Vystavka kartin moskovskogo tovarishchestva khudozhnikov”] in: Russkiye Vedomosti, No. 61, 3 March, (Moscow, 1901), p. 3.
  8. S.P. Yaremich, Mikhail Alexandrovich Vrubel: Life and Art [Mikhail Alexandrovich Vrubel: Zhizn' i tvorchestvo], (Moscow, 1911), p. 158. (Below: S.P. Yaremich).
  9. Ibid, p. 159.
  10. L.M. Kowalski, “Meetings with M.A. Vrubel” [“Vstrechi s M.A. Vrubelem”] in: Vrubel, 1976, p.167.
  11. Letter from M.A. Vrubel to A.A. Vrubel [Ge’s Farmstead], May 11, 1901, in: Vrubel, 1976, p. 64.
  12. Letter from M.A. Vrubel to A.A. Vrubel [November 1887. Kyiv] in: Vrubel, 1976, p. 50.
  13. Letter from M.A. Vrubel to N.A. Rimsky-Korsakov, September 4, 1901, in: Vrubel, 1976, p. 91.
  14. A.S. Pushkin, “Eugene Onegin” [“Evgeny Onegin”] in: A.S. Pushkin. Works [Sochineniya], (Moscow, 1949), p. 333.
  15. B.V. Asafyev, “S.V. Rachmaninov” in: Selected works [Izbrannyye trudy], vol. 2, (Moscow, 1954), p. 280.
  16. Letter from M.A. Vrubel to V.V. von Meck, 22 July 1900. K<yiv>-V<oronezh> Zh<eleznaya> D<oroga> S<tantsia> Pliski in: Soviet Art Criticism [Sovetskoye iskusstvoznaniye], issue 26, (Moscow, 1990), p. 447.
  17. K.A. Korovin, “It was long ago... there... in Russia...” [“To bylo davno... tam... v Rossii”], in 2 books, vol. 2 (Moscow, 2010), p. 69.
  18. Letter from Ye.D. Polenova to M.V. Yakunchikova [Moscow], May 1889, in: Ye.V. Sakharova. Vasily Dmitrievich Polenov. Yelena Dmitrievna Polenova. Chronical of an Artist's Family [Vasily Dmitrievich Polenov. Yelena Dmitrievna Polenova. Khronika sem'i khudozhnikov], (Moscow, 1964), p. 423.
  19. B.K. Yanovsky, “Reminiscences of Vrubel” [“Vospominaniya o Vrubele”] in: Vrubel, 1976, p. 260.
  20. N.I. Zabela, “M.A. Vrubel (Pages of her memoirs)” [“M.A. Vrubel (Listki vospominaniy)”] in: Vrubel, 1976, pp. 155-156.
  21. See: I.L. Vanechkina, B.M. Galeyev, “‘Colour Hearing’ in the Art of Rimsky-Korsakov” [“‘Tsvetnoy slukh’ v tvorchestve Rimskogo-Korsakova”] in: Russian Music and Tradition: Intercollegiate collection of scientific articles [Russkaya muzyka i traditsiya: Mezhvuzovskiy sbornik nauchnykh traditsiy], Conservatory (Kazan, 2003), pp. 182-195.
  22. Ibid.
  23. See: V.V. Yastrebtsev, “On the Chromatic Sound-Perception of Rimsky-Korsakov” [“O tsvetnom zvukosozertsanii N.A. Rim- skogo-Korsakova”] in: Russian Musical Newspaper [Russkaya muzykal'naya gazeta], Nos. 39-40, 1908, pp. 842-845.
  24. Ibid, p. 844.
  25. M.F. Gnessin, Thoughts and Reminiscences of Rimsky-Korsakov [Mysli i vospominaniya o N.A. Rim- skom-Korsakove], (Moscow, 1956), p. 10.
  26. Quoted from: L.G. Barsova, Vrubel. No Comments, (St. Petersburg, 2012), p. 171.
  27. N.A. Rimsky-Korsakov, “Complete Collected Works” [“Polnoye sobraniye sochineniy”], vol. 7, (Moscow, 1982), p. 140.
  28. Quoted from: A.N. Benois, The History of Russian Painting in the 19th Century [Istoriya russkoy zhivopisi v XIX veke], (Moscow, 1995), p. 409.
Illustrations
Konstantin KOROVIN. Lady with a Guitar. 1911
Konstantin KOROVIN. Lady with a Guitar. 1911
Oil on canvas. 87.5 × 68 cm
© Kostroma State Historical-Architectural and Art Museum-Reserve
Valentin SEROV. Portrait of the Artist Konstantin Korovin. 1891. Detail
Valentin SEROV. Portrait of the Artist Konstantin Korovin. 1891
Oil on canvas. 112 × 89.7 cm. © Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow. Detail
Mikhail VRUBEL. Self-portrait with a Shell. Late 1904 - early 1905
Mikhail VRUBEL. Self-portrait with a Shell. Late 1904 - early 1905
58.2 × 53 cm
© Russian Museum, St. Petersburg
Mikhail VRUBEL. Hamlet and Ophelia. 1888
Mikhail VRUBEL. Hamlet and Ophelia. 1888
Oil on cardboard. 32.7 × 23.8 cm.
© Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow
Konstantin KOROVIN. Northern Idyll. 1892
Konstantin KOROVIN. Northern Idyll. 1892
Oil on canvas. 115 × 155.5 cm.
© Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow
Mikhail VRUBEL. Pan. 1899. Detail
Mikhail VRUBEL. Pan. 1899
Oil on canvas. 124 × 106.3 cm
© Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow. Detail
Mikhail VRUBEL. Lilac. 1899. Detail
Mikhail VRUBEL. Lilac. 1900
Oil on canvas. 161.5 × 179.5 cm.
© Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow. Detail
Nadezhda Zabela by a lilac bush in the garden in Ivanovskoye hamlet. 1900
Nadezhda Zabela by a lilac bush in the garden in Ivanovskoye hamlet. 1900. Photograph
© Russian Museum, St. Petersburg
Mikhail VRUBEL. Lilac. 1901
Mikhail VRUBEL. Lilac. 1901. Unfinished
Oil on canvas. 214 × 342 cm
© Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow
Konstantin KOROVIN. Terrace. 1915
Konstantin KOROVIN. Terrace. 1915
Oil on canvas. 88 × 120 cm
© Taganrog Art Museum
Konstantin KOROVIN. Winter Twilight. 1916
Konstantin KOROVIN. Winter Twilight. 1916
Oil on canvas. 66 × 88 cm.
© Kaluga Regional Art Museum
Konstantin KOROVIN. Still Life and Portrait of Vera Vladimirovna Pertsova. 1916
Konstantin KOROVIN. Still Life and Portrait of Vera Vladimirovna Pertsova. 1916
Oil on canvas. 87.5 × 66.5 cm.
© Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow
Konstantin KOROVIN. Paris. 1912
Konstantin KOROVIN. Paris. 1912
Oil on canvas. 86 × 70.9 cm.
© Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow
Konstantin KOROVIN. “I Was Riding to See You”. 1921
Konstantin KOROVIN. “I Was Riding to See You”. 1921
Oil on canvas. 69 × 88 cm
© Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow
Konstantin KOROVIN. Yalta at Night. 1905
Konstantin KOROVIN. Yalta at Night. 1905
Oil on canvas. 53.5 × 71.5 cm
© Nizhny Novgorod State Art Museum
Konstantin KOROVIN. Paris. Café de la Paix. 1906
Konstantin KOROVIN. Paris. Café de la Paix. 1906
Oil on canvas. 60.3 × 73.5 cm.
© Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow
Konstantin KOROVIN. Terrace. Paris. 1908
Konstantin KOROVIN. Terrace. Paris. 1908
Oil on canvas. 94.8 × 58.6 cm
© Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow
Konstantin KOROVIN. Roses and Violets. 1912
Konstantin KOROVIN. Roses and Violets. 1912
Oil on canvas. 92.5 × 73.5 cm.
© Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow
Konstantin KOROVIN. Night in the South. 1915
Konstantin KOROVIN. Night in the South. 1915
Oil on canvas. 88.5 × 67.5 cm
© Rostov Regional Museum of Fine Arts
Mikhail VRUBEL. The Swan Princess. 1900
Mikhail VRUBEL. The Swan Princess. 1900
Oil on canvas. 142.5 × 93.5 cm.
© Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow. Detail
Caspar David FRIEDRICH. Swans in the Reeds. No later than 1832
Caspar David FRIEDRICH. Swans in the Reeds. No later than 1832
Oil on canvas. 33 × 44 cm
© Hermitage, St. Petersburg
Mikhail VRUBEL. Demon Downcast. 1902
Mikhail VRUBEL. Demon Downcast. 1902
Oil on canvas. 139 × 387 cm
© Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow
Mikhail VRUBEL. Swan. 1901
Mikhail VRUBEL. Swan. 1901
Oil on canvas. 155 × 132.2 cm
© Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow

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