Art Kaleidoscope

Between art and craft

Snow Maiden by Viktor Vasnetsov

Snow Maiden by Viktor Vasnetsov. Sketches of theatrical costumes. 1885

Snow Maiden by Viktor Vasnetsov. Sketches of theatrical costumes. 1885

We are accustomed to the fact that the tale has to be with a happy ending. But in the spring fairy tale verse “Snow Maiden”, written by a playwright Alexander Ostrovsky, the tale has a sad end. And the scenery created by Viktor Vasnetsov for the first stage of home theater of Savva Mamontov, and then to the opera “Snow Maiden”, were unaccustomed to the public. Making this performance in 1882 led to the fabulous discoveries, important not only for the theater, but also for the painting of the time. Until Vasnetsov luxurious and ornate decorations traveled from one setting to another: today it was a Russian fairy tale, and tomorrow the east.

Snow Maiden by Viktor Vasnetsov. Sketch of theatrical costume. 1885

Snow Maiden by Viktor Vasnetsov. Sketch of theatrical costume. 1885

In “Snow Maiden” artist proved: scenery, and costumes, and music on the stage should merge into a single entity. A Russian folk art – an inexhaustible source for a fabulous design. Composer Rimsky-Korsakov, who wrote the music for “The Snow Maiden” had a unique ability to see music in colors. Vasnetsov, having painted Holiday decorations in bright colors, helped viewers see on the stage both the music and poetic word. Costumes helped the actor find the “drawing” of role, that is the nature of the image.

Snow Maiden by Viktor Vasnetsov. Spring - red. Sketches of theatrical costumes. 1885

Vasnetsov. Spring – red. Sketches of theatrical costumes. 1885

Vasnetsov. Kupava. Sketches of theatrical costumes. 1885

Vasnetsov. Kupava. Sketches of theatrical costumes. 1885

Looking at the nifty outfit of Kupava, her proud posture, you know what capricious nature has the rival of Snow Maiden, who with white as snow ribbon in her hair and touching as she herself “lapti” seems so helpless in the world of passionate feelings that inhabit the kingdom of Berendey. How Maiden begged her mother to give her a Spring wreath, which has a magical property, “Love of the Earth dearer to me than a brief moment’s sadness and tears!” Maiden could live forever and be young, but preferred a brief instant hot human love for the shepherd Lel’ and died – melted.

Snow Maiden by Viktor Vasnetsov 1899

Vasnetsov. Maiden 1899

Vasnetsov. Santa Claus. Sketches of theatrical costumes. 1885

Vasnetsov. Santa Claus. Sketches of theatrical costumes. 1885

Snow Maiden by Viktor Vasnetsov. Snow Maiden and Lel. Sketch of theatrical costumes. 1885

Vasnetsov. Snow Maiden and Lel. Sketch of theatrical costumes. 1885

Snow Maiden by Viktor Vasnetsov. Sketch of theatrical costume. 1885

Snow Maiden by Viktor Vasnetsov. Sketch of theatrical costume. 1885

All images are scanned from the book “Русские сказки в живописи”