Description of the painting by Anton Losenko “Cain”

Description of the painting by Anton Losenko “Cain”

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The artwork (1768) is currently in the State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg.

The painting is a thematic part of the large canvas “Cain and Abel”.

The author lived in Europe for many years, comprehending the mastery of brilliant artists, honing every stroke, every movement of the brush. His paintings delight in the accuracy of details, his unsurpassed ability to competently manage the space of the canvas, the precise distribution of light.

Interestingly, the author himself did not title his work.

Losenko is the first artist to portray the brothers individually. All previously created canvases contain both figures of biblical history.

The space of the picture is perfectly organized. Obviously, it’s not difficult for the author to create a feeling of deep space on the plane of the canvas, to harmoniously distribute color shades, tonal transitions of his character’s figure.

The viewer sees in front of him a man sitting on a stone. The nude is expertly draped with folds of fabric - a man as if crouched on a stone, backing away from something terrible for himself. The torso is drawn in detail - each muscle is clearly visible, each fold on the body. The man is very alarmed - he peers intently into the space outside the canvas, seeing something terrible there. The hand is raised in a protective gesture - it seems that the character wants to protect himself from something.

No wonder the picture was later called “Cain” - so the figure and its embodiment corresponded to the image of the first killer on earth.

The face is not completely visible - it seems as if the character deliberately turned away from the audience, he purposely seeks to hide his feelings and emotions from someone else's eyes. His face is not accidentally immersed by the author in the shadow - Cain hides from all his dark soul, full of envy for his brother. At the feet of the villain is a stick that served as a murder weapon.

The picture made a real sensation in the society, amazed contemporaries with an unprecedented level of skill

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