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The painting "Mermaids" was painted by Russian artist Ivan Nikolaevich Kramsky based on the May Day by N.V. Gogol. The artist quite freely interpreted the dream of the main character Levko, focusing not on his plot, but on the image of a magical moonlit night in Ukraine.
Before the viewer appears a riverbank overgrown and littered with logs, on which a picturesque group of drowned women peacefully sits. Their subtle figures are illuminated by the full moon and from this seem even more unsteady and unrealistic. The faces of the girls are sad and dull, all of them were overcome by hopeless longing.
In the background in the upper right is an old manor, and on the left is an impenetrably dark and dense forest. The color of the picture is dull and calm, some of the gloom of colors softens the beautifully written moonlight, generously illuminating the scene.
Kramskoi was fascinated by the world of Ukrainian folk tales with devils, witches and mermaids, which is why he chose this plot. Kramskoi was not interested in the true correspondence of the painting he painted to Gogol's work, he wanted to convey the beauty of a fabulous Ukrainian night, as well as his sympathy for the unfortunate mermaid girls, simple peasant women, who so tragically ended their earthly existence.
In this picture, Kramskoy decided to embody a rather difficult task for the painter - to depict moonlight so that in the picture he looked like a real one. The artist worked on this picture for a long time, trying, correctly, in his words, to "catch the moon." And although he himself was not completely satisfied with the final version of the picture, critics noted that Kramsky managed to convey the fantastic and fabulous plot, and still catch a particle of moonlight in his work.
Picador Picasso Painting