Painting “inconsolable grief”, Kramskoy – description

Description of the picture:

An inconsolable grief – Ivan Nikolaevich Kramskoy. 1884. Oil on canvas. 228×141

   The picture makes a strong impression, due to the fact that the author was able to avoid the image of strong emotions. It is restraint in the manifestation of feelings that makes the atmosphere of work so rich and sincere.

   In front of the viewer is a woman in a mourning dress. The tearful eyes are full of longing and grief. One хэнд squeezes a handkerchief, wet from tears, the other hangs limply along the body.

   Flowers, folded into a box, woven into a wreath – reveal the cause of inconsolable grief. At the funeral home.

   The heroine is pale but calm. All the tears are cried out, all the tantrums are behind. Her thoughtful gaze is filled with such humility, a feeling of her helplessness before what happened, that the audience’s heart involuntarily tightens with sympathy.

   A carpet decorated with flowers, contrasting and, at the same time, in harmony with funerary colors, enhances the atmosphere of grief.

   The background of the picture is an ordinary living room: furniture, paintings on the walls (you can clearly see the sea landscape, which bears a symbolic load), an extinct lamp (symbolically emphasizing the death of a person), a table, books. Light penetrates a half-open door. The door is empty. The light may indicate that with time the grief will recede, but even so, the feeling of loneliness and emptiness will remain with the heroine forever.

   The author uses color contrast, choosing a golden orange for the background to highlight the black color of the grieving heroine’s dress. From this, the impression of inconsolable grief becomes even more tangible and clearer."

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