A bit of a Russian post today. At the moment I’m rereading ‘We the Living’ by Ayn (rhymes with mine) Rand. I recommend it. I haven’t read ‘The Fountainhead’ yet.
This is a postcard illustrating part of the poem ‘The Demon’ by a Russian poet, Michael Lermontov. I was struck by the movement of the painting by
Mikhail Aleksandrovich Vrubel. The unused postcard is Russian, from the Tretyakov State Gallery, Moscow dated 1965. How did it get to France? Someone had collected several cards of paintings by Vrubel and one or two other artists. The Vrubel cards were the only ones translated into Western European languages. I found the part of the poem the painting represents quite easily:
“Two figures - then a shot - ahead
What was it? Rising in his stirrups
Cramming his high hat on his brow
The gallant lover, at the gallop,
Plunged like a hawk upon his foe!
No word he spoke, his whip cracked once
And once blazed forth his Turkish gun....
Another shot. Wild cries. The Prince
Goes thundering on. The groans behind
Long echoes in the valley find....
Not long the fight. Of timorous mind,
The Georgians turn and run!”
Here is the complete poem if you’ve got a few minutes to spare (You'll have to scroll down a bit).
There is still a packet of Russian soup in the cupboard – perhaps not…