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Smokes a candle. Recently they beat - four hours, it will dawn soon. But in St. Petersburg it is not customary to go to bed early. All night in the room there is a game, measured, like the ticking of a clock. Someone passed. Someone raised the bid. Someone hides behind the bravado discontent and disgust for the cards that fell into the hand. The girl from the portrait looks over her head with an expression of constrained contempt on her beautiful face. Grotesque black shadows roam the walls.
Five officials play preference. Day ended, night passed. In the afternoon they worked - or rather, pretended to be working. Here are their faces - drooping cheeks, hilly skin, swollen eyes. Clenched lips. They can lie, they can take bribes beautifully. They know how to play until morning, not admitting how their ubiquitous boredom sharpens them. In the afternoon they shifted pieces of paper, portrayed ebullient activity.
But soon the dawn and harder to hide from yourself. The youngest of them yawns - widely, openly, without even hiding reluctance to play behind the palm of his mouth. What he does here, he does not understand himself. Drowning in the stuffy boredom of a summer night.
One of the officials is drinking. So they drink inveterate drunkards - abruptly, in one gulp, throwing their heads back and not paying attention to anyone. The game bored him, he was tired of sticky cards. Vodka is tepid, but it's not scary.
Three are playing. Fingers nervously tap on the green tablecloth. The oldest official hides uncertainty. His hands are moving, his lips are moving, he considers how to go more correctly. The other two are looking displeased, expectant and smug. The old man loses, they know this very well.
They are also bored, and while at least someone loses or wins, they can occupy themselves for at least half an hour, even for an hour. Another minus day, and minus one more. Boredom kills them ..
This is Vasnetsov’s latest painting on everyday topics. As if disappointed in the languid boredom of the world, he turned to fabulous plots, seeking salvation in them.
Painting Ship of Fools