However - creating about a dozen paintings; the last of...

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However, the main subject of Vrubel's work during his stay in Moscow was Lermontov's poem The Demon . Posing questions of good and evil and putting forward his ideal of a heroic personality as he saw it, Vrubel depicted "a rebel, unwilling to accept the commonplace and unjust nature of reality, tragically alone." From 1900, his art took the form of a tragic confession. In 1902, Vrubel began to suffer from a mental illness. After a brief stay in a clinic, his health improved, only to take a sharp turn for the worse after the death of his child in 1903. As he headed towards a mental breakdown, he continued to "struggle" with the ideas of The Demon , which he understood in Nietzschean terms,
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Unformatted text preview: creating about a dozen paintings; the last of them, indicative of Vrubel's progressively darker and pessimistic mood, was the torturous and tragic Demon Downcast (1902). Between 1902 and 1905, he created his best black and white works, remarkable for their keen insight into characters and for their clear-cut forms. During his work on a portrait of the poet Valerii Briusov (1906), Vrubel noticed that he was losing his sight -- the realization that he would not be able to paint aggravated his mental condition even more. In the spring of 1910, in a fit of depression and despair, Vrubel stood in front of an open window, hoping to catch a cold; he died when the cold turned into pneumonia....
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