Julia Herrero of Sharpsburg 

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"Prostrate demon" Mikhail Vrubel

Posted on June 11, 2015 at 7:05 PM

"In early 1902 one of the most famous paintings of Mikhail Vrubel - "Demon Downcast" - was shown to the public at an exhibition in St. Petersburg. Shortly before the events surrounding the artist began to notice symptoms of a mental disorder. Memories of friends and family allow you to restore the chronology of the past, sorrowful years of life of a great artist.

AdMe.ru publishes the story of genius Mikhail Vrubel, who until his death was true creativity.



"Demon Downcast", 1901-1902


1901 was marked by a major family event - Mikhail Vrubel and his wife Nadezhda Ivanovna's son. Couple preparing for this event a lot of fun, they thought that having a baby does not hurt their elegant and secular life, they dream, as we have with the child will go abroad to expose the "Demon".



"Seated Demon" in 1890 (before the illness)


The couple waited for a terrible disappointment - the boy was born with a split upper lip is deeply impressed by Mikhail Vrubel. From the moment of his relatives and friends began to notice that the artist is something wrong.



Mikhail Vrubel and his wife, Ivanovna Zabela Vrubel, 1892 (before the illness)


Vrubel paints a portrait of his son, who was named Sava, and it gives the appearance that the expression of extreme anxiety, which probably is going through himself.




"Portrait of the Artist's Son" in 1902 (the beginning of the disease, but to first hospitalization)


At the beginning of 1902 painting "Demon Downcast" was shown to the public at the exhibition "World of Art" in St. Petersburg. Here's what one of the exhibition recalls his wife's sister Vrubel, Katherine Gay, "Mikhail, despite the fact that the picture had been put up every day early in the morning rewrote it, and I was horrified to see change every day. There were days that the "Demon" was very afraid, and then again appeared in facial expression Demon deep sadness and a new beauty ... In general, despite his illness, creativity Vrubel did not leave, even as grown, but have to live with it It was made unbearable. "



"Demon Downcast" 1901-1902 (before the illness began, repeatedly rewrote)


In March 1902 the artist was first placed in a private psychiatric hospital. The clinical picture was dominated by the ideas of grandeur, a period of strong excitation so that for six months broke goodbye even with the closest people - his wife and sister.



"Pan" in 1899 (before the illness)


In September of the same year, Vrubel moved to psychiatric clinic of Serbia, in a coat and hat, even without underwear, as saying that he destroyed all his belongings.



"Swan Princess" in 1900 (before the illness)


In this hospital, it went a lot better, he wrote letters to relatives quite logical, and on the advice of the doctor began to paint again.



"Siren" in 1900 (before the illness)


February 18, 1903 Mikhail Vrubel came out of the hospital, but he was very sad, and completely by April "unstuck": often cried, homesick, said that good for nothing, could not work at all, even though it offers a variety of orders. May 3, 1903 was a misfortune - Savvochka died, the only child of Vrubel. In the face of this grief Mikhail behaved very courageously, personally engaged in the organization of funeral, I tried to support his wife, who was in despair.



"Portrait of Nadezhda Zabela-Vrubel," 1904 (during his illness)


After the funeral, his son Vrubel went to his estate near Kiev, where the artist was very nervous, demanded to be transported to the hospital soon. Someone advised to determine Vrubel in a psychiatric clinic in Riga.



One version of the work "Pearl", pastel, approximately 1904 (during his illness)


At this time, the disease was completely different character from megalomania was gone, on the contrary, it was replaced by a full depression. Vrubel was sad and sad, considered himself worthless and would lose his life.



"Self-Portrait with a sink," in 1905 (during his illness)


In the autumn of his sister, the artist transported from Riga to Moscow. In Moscow hospital, he began to paint portraits of the patients very successful, but his thoughts confused, Vrubel seemed that his wife and sister are also psychiatric patients.



"Water Lilies", 1890 (before the illness)


Pictures taken at the clinic, were presented at the exhibition of Moscow artists, they could not see a shadow of the disease.



"Hamlet and Ophelia", 1884 (before the illness)


During this period Vrubel painted "Six-Winged Seraph", depicting an angel with burning lamps, a very beautiful thing done burning and bright colors.



"Six-Winged Seraph (Azrael)", 1904 (during his illness)


By the spring of 1904, the artist was so bad that the doctors and relatives thought that he would not live up to the summer, wanted to take him abroad, but later left the plans. In the summer the Moscow clinic closed, so Serbian psychiatrist advised to put Vrubel in the newly opened near Moscow psychiatric hospital Usoltseva. Patients in the hospital lived with his family doctor and enjoyed great freedom.



"Touch portrait a doctor Usolsev ", 1904 (in time of illness)


Transfer to hospital Usoltseva brought an amazing advantage: Vrubel began to eat (he indulged in food, believing himself unworthy of food), his mind cleared, he painted, wrote letters to friends and family, and two months later recovered so that he returned home.



Fence psychiatric hospital, this place was Usoltseva clinic.


After being discharged from the hospital the artist Vrubel moved to St. Petersburg, where Mikhail led a life completely healthy person, he rented an apartment, it had electricity, and worked very hard.



"Morning" in 1897 (before the illness)


During this period, Vrubel began to write his wonderful "pearl", which is now in the collection of the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow.



"Pearl", 1904 (during his illness)


By the beginning of 1905, his wife began to notice in Vrubel very excited, he became intractable, irritable, spend money unreasonably on completely unnecessary things. Wife of the artist had to "write out" from Moscow Usoltseva psychiatrist, who took Vrubel in his Moscow hospital.



"After the concert" (Portrait of the Artist's Wife), 1905 (during his illness)


Usoltsev acted soothingly on the patient. Once at the clinic, Vrubel started to sleep, and insomnia has always been one of the most dangerous symptoms of his illness. The relatives had hoped that this time the disease will not be long, alas, but they were wrong - the excitement once again changed oppression. Despite his illness, Vrubel did not stop working, he painted a portrait of the entire family Usoltseva, many patients and poet Bryusov, who was visiting the artist.



"Portrait of the poet Valery Bryusov" 1906 (during his illness)


Bruce left a very interesting memories of his first meeting with Mikhail Vrubel, held at the clinic Usoltseva: "To tell the truth, I was horrified to see Vrubel. It was frail, sick man in dirty rumpled shirt. He had a reddish face; eyes like a bird of prey; spiky hair instead of a beard. First impression: crazy! After the usual greetings he asked me: "It's you I have to write about?" And he began to treat me in a special way, in artistically intently, almost pathetically. Immediately his expression changed. Through the madness of genius shone through. "



 

Photo of the poet Bryusov.


When Vrubel wrote Bryusov surrounding began to notice that he is something strange with the eyes, the artist had to be approached very closely to see the model. New suffering approaching at an alarming rate, having finished a portrait Bryusov, Vrubel did not see much of his work.



"Fortune Teller", 1894-1895 (before the illness)


Mikhail Vrubel realized the full horror of his situation: the artist, the world which was incredibly beautiful - now almost blind ... He began to refuse food, saying that if it is starving 10 years, then begin to see clearly, and figure it will have unusually good.



"Six-Winged Seraph" in 1905 (before the illness)


The poor artist friends are now ashamed, he said: "Why should they come, I did not see them."



'Valkyrie (Portrait of Princess Tenisheva) "1899 (before the illness)


The outside world is less contact with Mikhail Vrubel. Despite all the efforts of his sister and wife, who regularly visited the artist, he plunged into a world of their own dreams: telling something like fairy tales, that he would have the eyes of emerald, which he created all of their works during the time of the ancient world and the Renaissance.



"Hansel and Gretel", 1896 (before the illness)


The last year of life, the artist insistently refused meat, saying he did not want to eat "uboiny", so he began to serve vegetarian table. The forces gradually left Vrubel, sometimes he said that he "tired of living".



"Seraphim", 1904-1905 (during his illness)


Sitting in the garden of his last summer, he once said, "The sparrows chirp me - almost alive, almost alive." The general appearance of the patient becomes a subtle, spiritual. Vrubel came to an end with complete peace of mind. When he began pneumonia, transformed then into galloping consumption, he took it in stride. In his last conscious day before the agony, Vrubel carefully brought myself up passionately kissed the hand of his wife and sister, and no longer spoke.



 

Photo MAVrubel 1897 (before the illness)


Only at night, briefly regained consciousness, the artist said, referring to the man who took care of him, "Nicholas, I have a pretty lie here - go to the Academy." These words had some premonition of dying prophetic: after a day Vrubel in the coffin was solemnly brought to the Academy of Fine Arts - his alma mater.



"Bed" (from the series "Insomnia"), 1903-1904 (during his illness)


Finish the story wants Usoltseva words psychiatrist who, like no other, admired by Mikhail Vrubel, understanding the complexity of his brilliant personality: "We often hear that creativity Vrubel - sore creativity. I have long and carefully studied Vrubel, and I believe that his work is not only perfectly normal, but so powerful and strong that even a terrible disease could not destroy it. Creativity was at the core, the very essence of his psychic personality, and when he reached the end, the disease has destroyed him ... He died grievously sick, but as an artist he was healthy and deep well. "



"Rose in a glass", 1904 (during his illness)


Author: Daria Evseeva

Источник: http://www.adme.ru/tvorchestvo-hudozhniki/poverzhennyj-demon-mihaila-vrubelya-947760/#image16976760 © AdMe.ru


P.S. I am keeping this article for myself because of my love and appreciation  of great artist. I am also asking myself:  how is it possible that greatness of a genius and  mental illness are very often together?

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