Through the characters Briullov shows genuine humanity; he shows a tragedy that affected everybody, from a priest to a prostitute. “A proud athlete lets out a cry of horror, pride, and impotence, protecting himself with his cloak from the whirlwind of flying stones . . . here is a child whose gaze pierces the viewer’s heart; here, being carried by children, is an old man whose terrible body already has the breath of the grave on it” (Gogol). We see a mother, protecting her two daughters in the anticipation of a destructive blow; a family with young children trying to escape in vain; a rider, unable to manage his horse; and people struck by the falling buildings. “The crowd recoils in horror from the buildings and gazes in the wild oblivion of terror at the fearsome phenomenon marking the end of the world; a priest shrouded in white looks with fierce hopelessness at the whole world. All of this has been rendered so powerfully, so boldly, and has been composed so harmoniously that it could only have come from
This is the end of the preview. Sign up
access the rest of the document.