Variant of frontispiece to the poem A. 23.7 x 17.6
Alexander Nikolayevich Benois returned to his passionately beloved poetry of A. Pushkin, in particular to The Bronze Horseman several times, and all the work with illustrations for the poem lasted almost 20 years!
Finally, in 1923, a book with drawings by Benoit was published. We met it ambiguously, but time put everything in its place and today the illustrations of Alexandre Benois have become classics as well as the work itself.
It is not surprising that it was the picture of the Bronze Horseman’s chase that was placed in the book as a frontispiece, as characterizing the whole leitmotif of Pushkin’s work - the fantastic ride of the Bronze Horseman after the main character Eugene.
Due to the fact that the work was carried out by Alexander Nikolaevich ink and graphite pencils, shades and colors are presented very sparingly and poorly. But it is precisely this approach of the author that creates an alarming atmosphere, floating in the gray and cold northern capital, as well as the inflamed state of the already half-mad, sick hero.
The picture produces a stunning effect, so simple, but genuinely depicted Benoit the very scene of the chase. Against the background of not that St. Petersburg, ceremonial and festive, but a nightly, gloomy and gloomy city, this spectator opens up before the viewer.
A dark, heavy, enormous block of the Bronze Horseman hangs over a running man. Indescribable horror engulfed his small figure. And there is no salvation for him, the stone city indifferently looks through the blind windows of houses at an insignificant man.
The artist emphasizes all this madness, anxiety, extreme tension with empty streets, black clouds, dead light from a ghostly moon in a dark sky.
Pushkin’s works are illustrated by many, but perhaps no one could convey the poem’s imagery in the way Alexander Nikolayevich Benois did, interest the viewer in the novelty of his impressions, and desire to re-read and interpret the plot in a different way, from the point of view of the artist who conveyed his feelings to the observer.