A warm summer night, the balcony open wide, the dim light of a single candle and the measured ticking of the clock. In this pre-dawn silence, five officials are wasted time playing preference. The cards are dealt, one batch replaces another, the stakes are raised and lowered.
In fact, only three of the participants are involved in the game. The other two occupy themselves with more important matters. One – in the corner, turning away, with a sharp movement drains another glass of the hot. He drinks in a salvo, not paying attention to the people present in the room. Obviously, he was fed up with the
The three remaining bent over a table covered with green cloth. The blind old man in the dusk tries to see his situation, while others, without a trace of embarrassment, look at his maps. Fair play here is long gone, just as officials themselves forgot about honesty in their public service.
Now they pretend to be carried away by the game, and in the daytime they shifted the papers, depicting the hard work. Their faces are unpleasant – gray hilly skin, sagging cheeks and chins, swollen eyes, cracked lips, squeezed thin lips. These persons are able to eloquently lie and deceive, to take bribes beautifully and at ease, to make promises that they are not going to fulfill. They are able to play like this all night long until morning, hiding the dying all boredom.
Officials are empty in their day-to-day affairs, and can not think of a lesson for themselves at the end of a clock. Therefore, they spend similar one on another evening in an environment to the death of a bored company for a very few interesting game. All these meetings are meaningless, as meaningless their pastime in the service.
The insignificance of officials engaged in preference is emphasized by the uneven fire of a candle, giving rise to huge shadows on the walls of the room. An artsy chimney bas-relief, a ceremonial portrait on the wall screaming about complete bad taste and stupidity. And only the hours continue to live, measuring the course of time and drawing near the long-awaited dawn, which will free the players from the nagging lessons.
The picture “Preference” was destined to be the last work of the artist on everyday topics, after which the realism, which reproached the unsightly features of society, was replaced by the world of fairy tales and legends.