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“Flying Demon” - Description of the Painting by Mikhail Vrubel

16 March 2022
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“Flying Demon” - Description of the Painting by Mikhail Vrubel


Flying demon - Mikhail Vrubel. 1899. Oil on canvas. 138.5 x 430.5 cm


As it is the case with many of the master's works, the painting remained unfinished. The master did a good work on the background, which shows a typical Caucasian landscape. Talking of the figure of the demon itself, it is so schematically traced that the author's idea, perhaps, could only be guessed.

The work is sustained in the harsh brown and gray tones. The author created the atmosphere of anxiety and impending tragedy. The demon seems to move through a narrow space between heaven and earth, nearly limited in movement, and a complete defeat awaits him.

The texture of the folds of the hero's robe is perfectly conveyed; however, the body contours are only schematically outlined. The master tried to achieve harmony between the figure of the demon and the landscape surrounding him. For the artist, a demon is a symbol of opposition to everything, disobedience, and courageous defense of one's beliefs, despite all authorities. The freedom is the main point for the master in his hero. The brown tones serve as a reference to the plumage of the eagle.

The reasons why the author left the work unfinished remained unknown. Perhaps, he could not find an idea that would be deep enough idea, or he considered the plot itself rather simplistic. We know that in a year the artist returned to the image of a fallen angel.
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