Oil on canvas
138,5 x 430,5
Like all other works by Mikhail Vrubel, Flying Demon is a profoundly sincere and confessional painting. The young Nietzschean hero cannot do evil, yet is unable to escape the chains of loneliness, the “inner dungeon” of his own making.
Proud, melancholy and disdainful, he soars in the lifeless heights. Flying Demon was an extremely topical work. Combining the fin-de-siècle atmosphere with a strong element of autobiography, it expressed the moods of many Russians of that time.
Vrubel, Mikhail Alexandrovich
1856, Omsk -1910, St Petersburg
Painter, draughtsman, theatrical designer, applied artist, portraitist, writer of philosophical Symbolist compositions. Studied law at St Petersburg University (1874-79) and art under Pavel Chistyakov at the Imperial Academy of Arts (1880-84). Academician of painting (1905). Member of the Abramtsevo circle (from 1889). Contributed to exhibitions (from 1891). Contributed to the exhibitions of the Moscow Fellowship of Artists (1895, 1899, 1904), Exhibition of Russian and Finnish Artists (1898), World of Art (1900-03, 1906; member from 1900, 1911), 36 Artists (1901, 1902), Union of Russian Artists (1903-10; founding member), Exposition Universelle in Paris (1900; gold medal) and the International Exhibitions in Vienna (1901) and Venice (1907). Designed for Sawa Mamontov''s Russian Private Opera (1890-1901).