Vrubel has long conceived the canvas “Demon defeated.” He wanted to shock the viewer, create a grandiose work, but, it seems, he did not clearly represent the idea of the picture: The demon owned him more than he – the Demon. He thought for a long time how to portray this Demon – flying or some other. The idea of the “Defeated” Demon appeared as if by itself.
The demon will be lowered into the ravine among the rocks. Once the mighty hands became whips, pityingly broken, the body deformed, the wings spread out. Around the fallen lilac gloom and rushed blue streams. They flood it, a little more – and they will close completely, there will be a blue surface, a premature water space in which the mountains will reflect. The face of the fallen man with a torturedly curved mouth is wild and pitiful, although a pink glow still burns in his crown.
Gold, gloomy blue, milky blue, smoke-lilac and pink – all the favorite colors of Vrubel – form a spectacular spectacle here.
The newly painted canvas did not look as it is now: the crown sparkled, the peaks of the mountains gleamed pink, the feathers of broken wings sparkled and sparkled like peacocks. As always, Vrubel did not care about the preservation of colors – he added bronze powder to the paints to give them shine, but eventually this powder began to act fatal, the picture unrecognizably darkened. But from the very beginning, her color solution was open decorative – he lacked the depth and color saturation, the variety of transitions and shades, which is in the best things Vrubel.
When the painting was transported to St. Petersburg for the exhibition of the “World of Art”, Vrubel, despite the fact that the canvas was already on display, copied it every morning since the morning, and everyone saw this change. There were days when the Demon was terrible, and then deep sadness appeared in his face… Vrubel was already deeply sick at that time.
“Demon defeated” captures not so much his painting, but as a visible embodiment of the tragedy of the artist: we feel – “here a man burned down.”