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Many of the works of Viktor Mikhailovich Vasnetsov are permeated with original motifs of Russian folklore. “Snow Maiden” is one of such paintings. The creation of the artist’s masterpiece was inspired by the play of the same name by Ostrovsky and the opera of Rimsky-Korsakov. Actually the picture was written as a decoration for the production of the opera. The prototype of the fabulous Snegurochka is the girl Sasha, the daughter of the famous philanthropist Savva Mamontov.
In Russian fairy tales, the Snow Maiden is the embodiment of gentle beauty and purity. This is a child of Frost and Spring, whose heart does not know and should not know love. But in the interpretation of Vasnetsov, the ice girl turned out to be surprisingly lively and somehow humane.
The canvas is divided diagonally into two parts. In the foreground is the thickness of winter snow. It can be seen that the snow cover is solid, deep. In such it is worth stepping - and you will fall to the waist. Young Christmas trees peek out from the snow to the left. And behind them is the Snow Maiden. She is painted not in the center of the composition, but a little on the side. It seems that the winter beauty has just left the forest. With surprise and confusion, she looks around her possessions. Hands are a little apart, as if the Snow Maiden is ready to hug everything she sees around. A suit to match this princess of the winter forest. A rich brocade coat almost merges with the surface of the snow. The outfit is painted with gold embroidery. A little hat with a furry brings a note of femininity and tenderness to the image of the Snow Maiden.
The figure of the girl is as if highlighted from below. It seems that the beauty of the Snow Maiden is reflected from the surface of the snow. Nothing distracts us from the contemplation of the heroine. In the background there is only a dark blue, almost black sky with a mysterious greenish tint. And just by looking closely, we can distinguish the lights of the houses lost in this magical winter kingdom.
Description of Shishkin Forest Pictures