Pearl by Mikhail Vrubel

Pearl by Mikhail Vrubel

Pastel Pearl “- a small miracle of art, an amazing game of overflows in a pearl shell.

Who ever held in the hands and examined the natural sea shell, could not help marveling at the changing color play in its strata. They gleam with the tones of the sea, and the setting sun, and the radiance of the rainbow, and the flickering of dull silver. A real treasure cave in miniature.

For Vrubel, all nature was a cave of treasures, and in the washings of the shell he saw as it were concentrated the magic spilled in nature. It was necessary only to “copy” it: the color nuances of the mother-of-pearl are elusive, change with each turn of the shell, each change of lighting. Vrubel realized that the overflows of the shell depend also on the texture of it – smooth, rough, layered.

Vrubel made a lot of drawings of the shell with coal and pencil, before writing it in color, with all the tints of lilac, blue, pink, greenish. These overflows are created with such authenticity that it appears: if you turn the picture at different angles, then the colors will change, flare up and fade, like in a real shell.

The shell is written a little more than the natural size, and this enhances the impression of magic, as if we have some kind of underwater kingdom’s front. Then in it someone must dwell! Who, if not the daughter of the sea king?

The princesses emerged with the same inevitability as all the fantastic images of Vrubel – from the contemplation of natural forms, as though originally hidden in them, and they had only to be considered. They themselves did not like the figure, they were too much in the spirit of modernity – a few cutesy, exquisitely playful, that the design of the artist is fading.

With all the fact that the “Pearl” – one of the last works of Vrubel – remains a genuine gem of his work.

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