R.A.H. (againstathorn) wrote,

Alexander Novoskoltsev - After the Masquerade (1890)

For today's "Ball" selection I offer yet another partied-out subject at night's end. Russian painter Alexander Novoskoltsev supplies an informal scene of a man and woman unwinding after such an occasion. She's fast asleep with her legs resting on a nearby chair, and he sits at the table while enjoying a smoke. Seems pleasant enough--two people hanging back after an evening of gopd times. I presume they are still at the ball venue, but they could also be at home. Though she's asleep, it appears she's in present danger.

What stands out to me is Novoskoltsev's vantage point, which is on level with the woman as she reclines back. This angle provides a neat study of our sleeping subject. The artist's use of light also contributes to making her the focal point of this scene; Those white legs definitely pop out against the pitck black background. Within that blackness we register the man with his smoke. If not for the light from his cigarette, he probably wouldn't be visable at all, and I wonder the artist added him as an afterthought.

Viewing this painting on my phone, I keep blocking out the man with my thumb, wondering if the overall impact of this work would be any different without him. Would his abcence change the scene? Sleeping in a table in an undisclosed location, is the woman better off with or without the man, whoever he is, hanging out nearby?
Tags: before and after the ball april 2018
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