Description of the picture:
The agony of creativity – Leonid Osipovich Pasternak. 1892. Oil on canvas. 62.5 x 81 cm.
This expressive and well-remembered canvas can be considered a self-portrait of the artist. This is not about physical similarity, but about the spiritual kinship of the depicted character and author.
The canvas depicts a young man with a lush, curly, reddish hair and a small neat beard. He is a writer, it is evidenced by the fact that he sits at a desk full of books, writing instruments and papers – written and clean. In front of him is a large pot-bellied glass inkstand, typical of that time and successfully survived to this day, a “swinging” paperweight with blotting paper, a beautiful glass with a white-blue ornament, in which there are pens and pencils. All this emphasizes the occupation of the character of the canvas.
Obviously, there was a pause in the work, as the young man thought hard, closing his eyes and resting his forehead on his raised hand. He clearly cannot continue his work – the muse left the master. The problems with the creation of his work are also indicated by those objects that are on the table next to writing instruments. This is an open cigarette box and an ashtray full of burnt matches and cigarette butts. Nervous, a person frantically smokes, often tossing an under-smoked cigarette and starting a new one. All these small, but very important details perfectly emphasize the main theme of the picture – the flour of creativity.
The color of the canvas is muffled, soft, “chamber”, but not devoid of color. In the background, a room is clearly visible, drowning in light haze and twilight. The character’s dark clothes literally make the man’s light skin glow, immediately attracting the attention of the audience to his inspired and expressive face with eyes closed in thought.
The light in the picture is soft, diffused, without clear contours and separate spots of shadows. This makes the canvas very pleasant to read, not disturbing, but making you think."