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The artist specialized in mythological and historical objects. Often painted in folklore and romantic painting styles. He believed that a true work conveys the past, present, and possibly even the future.
Vasnetsov borrowed the plot of the picture from Russian folk legends, ballads and fairy tales. This choice was influenced by his childhood. The artist lived in the countryside with hilly copses and dense forest, with winding and wide valleys. From the earliest years Vasnetsov heard folk legends and epic tales.
In 1897, Vasnetsov painted the painting "Gamayun, a bird of things." According to mythology, this bird is the messenger of the gods. At dawn, she flies to people. And with it, a gale and a violent hurricane appear. She sings sacred hymns and portends the future to those who can hear her secrets. And to hear her voice in the hum of the wind, the rustle of leaves and the sounds of an approaching thunderstorm is not so simple. Gamayun acts as an intermediary between gods and people, because the winged messenger delivers important information to ordinary people.
The bird is depicted with the darkly beautiful face of a girl who looks somewhere in the distance. Something mysterious and mystical is felt in her eyes. The bird has already overcome the difficult and thorny path of knowledge of the world. This unusual appearance attracts attention. Gamayun is sitting on a twisting branch. The main advantage is the colorful effect of the picture. The artist used rich, but at the same time calm tones. Black wings stand out against the bright background, which symbolize rebirth. It seems that now she will open them and fly up.
Looking at the picture, there is a feeling of insane anxiety. Vasnetsov managed to revive the spiritual heritage of man. His painting had a huge impact on the development of modernism and symbolism in Russian painting and poetry.