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In later work, Boris Kustodiev’s paintings shine with ever-growing force of life. A riot of saturated colors, their diversity and a bold play of contrasts embodied in the work of 1920, "Merchant with a mirror."
In the heyday of Art Nouveau in all areas of art, this new direction also affected painting. “The Merchant Girl with the Mirror” was written just in this style. This accessory of the canvas is recognized in the rich decorativeness of the depicted elements, in their ornamentality, in the abundance of the so-called carpet backgrounds.
What do we see in the picture? The main character is a young woman from a bygone era, when the merchant estate lived in abundance and could bathe in luxury. A girl in an openwork scarlet dress tries on a new shawl, while looking in the mirror. Shawl expensive, silk, embroidered with silver patterns. The merchant’s face expresses peaceful calm, complacency, and even some arrogance.
All life surrounding the heroine tells about the condition of the residents of the house. On the table with a purple velvet tablecloth are the hostess's jewelry, casket, fan. In the far corner, a large icon gleams with gold. On the floor is a huge green chest decorated with gold trim. On the shelf is a fresh bouquet of all kinds of flowers. Closer to the window are large leaves of exotic plants.
In the ajar door - the figure of a delighted man. He is fascinated and proudly admiring a smart merchant. Another human figure is in the shadow of a woman - an inconspicuous maid dutifully goes over the expensive furs of the mistress.
B. M. Kustodiev portrayed a genre and nostalgic picture. Longing for the time of abundance and happy prosperity is expressed in everything in the canvas of 1920. A healthy, ruddy tradeswoman confidently admires herself, not yet knowing about the upcoming elimination of the entire estate.
The colorful canvas of the Russian artist is placed in the Russian Museum of St. Petersburg.
Michelangelo Separation of Light from Darkness