“Herodias”, Ivan Nikolaevich Kramskoy – description of the painting

Description of the picture:

Herodias – Ivan Nikolaevich Kramskoy. Canvas, oil. 100 40 two x 118

   Biblical themes in the work of Kramskoy are piercing, psychological and philosophical. It is enough to recall the languid and meek gaze of Jesus, which constitutes the sensual center, the canvases of Christ in the Desert.

   The presented work was completed in one thousand eight hundred and eighty-6 years, shortly before the death of the painter. The plot of the picture was a popular story from the New Testament. Herodias, the daughter of Herod, gave the order to bring her the head of John the Baptist. Anger at John was not unfounded, because he sharply condemned her marriage to her uncle, reproaching her for debauchery. Herodias found a method of revenge.

   And here on the dish in front of the heroine is the head of the Baptist. The lady looks at her own terrifying “trophy” with some triumph. The creator does not skimp, portraying Herodias – snow-white skin, lush curls, taken under a silver hoop, and a wonderful outfit. The heroine’s dress seems to be transparent, it seems that you can see her skin. The libertine admires its own beauty, but this beauty is cool, hard, persistent. One can only wonder how Kramskoi managed to convey these conflicting midtones.

   The ill-fated face was covered with a scarf, but Herodias carefully turned her away so that the viewer could see the one who condemned her love. The subtle regular features of John’s face also speak of beauty, but now this beauty is already woeful and majestic.

   The creator professionally used the colors in the picture – the background is darkened to advance the heroes to the frontal plane. The reddish color is not only an accent character in terms of the palette, but also in a metaphysical sense. Here, in the name of the whore of the prodigal lady, innocent blood spilled.

   We see a brutal reddish tint in the shoes of Herodias, in the image of the carpet and in the form of a background spot, at the lady’s elbow. It is no coincidence that flashes of reddish fall on the lady’s skirt – she stained herself with mortal sin, killing an innocent man …"