2021-04-21

Ivanov – “Bathsheba”

Bathsheba is a beautiful name, and this woman was just as captivatingly beautiful. It is mentioned in the pages of the Bible. The second Jewish king David was walking around the territory of his palace, going to the roof, his gaze was attracted by Bathsheba bathing in the neighboring garden. The man was fascinated by the undisguised beauty of a woman unknown to him.

He immediately sent his servants to inquire about this person who possessed his thoughts. The man reported her name and the fact of marriage. But David was not stopped by such news. Forgetting about God, under the power of passionate love, he sent to death the husband of Bathsheba. This was Uriah the Hittite – a loyal and brave warrior who served the king.

To cover up the evil deed, David ordered his man to lead the military to the enemies in the most dangerous place and command the detachment so that Uriah was left alone with death. The secret murder was accomplished, but soon the king will have to remember God, repent and suffer the punishment he deserves.

The watercolor work by Alexander Ivanov conveys the image of Bathsheba to the audience, and in general – the moment of the birth of sinful thoughts in the soul of King David. It was written by a Russian artist in 1843 with watercolors on paper in a book for personal notes. Airy paints of blue and red watercolors are diluted with dark green light touches of the brush.

In the foreground are basins and a jug of water, a naked girl bends over to wash a washcloth. Her body outline is vaguely visible, her long wavy black hair catches the eye. A dumbfounded David sits behind a vegetable fence, he glares in love at what is happening behind a deciduous tree.

There is a lot of personal in the painting “Bathsheba”. Ivanov during the years of her writing was captivated by his acquaintance with Maria Apraksina. But the woman he loved married another. And the artist turns to the Bible in search of a way out of the tragedy that happened in his life.

Year of painting: no data.

Painting dimensions: no data.

Material: paper.

Writing technique: watercolor.

Genre: religious painting.

Style: academicism.

Gallery: State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia.

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