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The painting by the famous artist Mikhail Vrubel “Hamlet and Ophelia” was painted in 1884 during his student years. Now the canvas is stored in the Russian Museum in St. Petersburg.
In 1883, Repin invited Vrubel to write a more serious picture. After a long search, in the end, the artist stops his choice on the stage from the play "Hamlet and Ophelia". The plot of reflection with elements of tragedy was taken as the basis.
In the created figures, Vrubel displayed two different characters and temperament. He showed two opposites. Characters are a contrasting background for each other in the depth of their experiences.
A year after meeting with Repin, the master embodied his creative idea. The picture was painted on paper with pencils and watercolors. In the imagination of the artist, the Danish prince was seated in an armchair. That is how he was depicted in the figure.
The interior of the room in particular does not attract attention. The image of Hamlet is permeated with concentration and a certain detachment. His gaze is directed to the side. It seems as though the prince was deeply absorbed in his thoughts and turned his back on the world around him. The artist portrayed a young man with large and strict features.
Near the prince, another figure is depicted. This is Ophelia. Her image is sad. A drooping gaze, half-closed eyes speak of her sadness. At these moments, she seems defenseless and afflicted. The girl gently bends over her beloved, lowering one hand to the back of the chair. She seems to be trying to penetrate his thoughts.
Dark colors and even black prevail in the overall color scheme of the picture. Thus, the artist seeks to convey to the viewer the atmosphere of tragedy. The center of the composition is only two characters. Any details are missing. Therefore, all attention is concentrated on the depicted figures, shrouded in gloomy thoughts.
Arkhip Kuindzhi Birch Grove