Kramskoy – “Girl with a loose braid”
The rebellious “Itinerants” “mainly rebelled against the restriction of plot freedom – the creators themselves wanted to choose themes for their canvases,” voicing “new problems, offering new aesthetics. One of the characteristic plot trends of that time was the image of a person on the brink of death, his withering, exhaustion of vitality.
The most famous work of Kramskoy on this topic is “Girl with a loose braid”. Kramskoy, like no one else, was impressed by this plot trend. Only during a period of illness, when a person’s physical strength is already depleted, that spirituality that is not visible behind the daily bustle wakes up in him, only then it is possible to consider the true essence of a person, his beauty – this is exactly what Kramskoy believed. At the same time, the painter does not set himself tasks of a social orientation – his paintings do not expose and do not raise problems. Rather, his works provide an opportunity to look deeply into the soul of a person at a time when it is revealed and disarmed.
The picture is very harmonious and natural. The diagonal composition allows you to thoroughly examine the face – sad, reflecting deep inner meditation. Illuminated with light, which further emphasizes fatigue, the face, however, demonstrates the incomprehensible inner strength and resilience of the girl’s character.
The artist was very fond of this work, and until his death he did not dare to part with it, exhibiting the picture in his studio.
Year of painting: 1863.
Dimensions of the painting: 64.5 x 56 cm.
Writing technique: oil.
Gallery: State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia.