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“Dream” was written in 1905, at the time of deepest stagnation - as a country ready to plunge into the abyss of change, but all awkwardly crumbling in place, and the artist’s work. On it, right on bare stones, a young man is sleeping, completely naked, in an awkward pose, as if a dream had suddenly taken him, on the way or during prayer.
Above him, separated by a black rock, like a kind of obelisk of doom, there are two - a tender woman with pink skin and soft features, and a man in the very appearance of which there is something bestial. He has a heavy face, slightly pointed ears. He looks at the sleeping man with a thoughtfulness that borders on thinking about which side to start eating him with: from his feet or from his head.
All this is surrounded by a lifeless, rocky landscape, which includes a desert plain, a pair of black stones and distant mountains, one of which is slightly smoked by a stream of smoke, predicting an imminent catastrophe. The sky is bright with tones of dark blue, hanging over the plain, almost touching its belly, and in general the feeling is created unpleasant, oppressive. I would rather wake up from such a dream.
One of the most sensitive critics interpreted the picture as a reflection on the eternal questions about the artist's place between evil and good, beauty and ugliness. Woman is beauty, man is ugliness. Woman is good. Man is evil. At the same time, the ugliness of a man probably implies all the savagery of his appearance, rather than the fact that he is an ugly person. The ugly resemblance to the beast.
The artist himself wrote that the picture was created in a vague, terrible, indefinite time, when it was unclear whether the country would collapse into the abyss, or rise from its knees, and I no longer wanted a specific outcome, but simply that at least something happened, so that the lethargic painful dream finally broke off and something very, very different began.
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