A portrait from nature was painted in 1898. When writing a masterpiece, oil paints were used. The spouse is dressed in a magnificent dress decorated with a yellow wide belt, a muslin hat adorns her head. In the hands of Nadezhda Ivanovna holds a lorgnet.
It is safe to say that before us is the most harmonious work of the greatest Russian artist. Vrubel used light, light shades in order to convey the state of mind of his wife.
When writing a portrait of the artist, he turned to the painting technique of depicting objects in natural light and in natural conditions. If we carefully look at the woman’s clothes, we will notice that Vrubel remained faithful to the “crystalline” form, which is distinguished by transparency, airiness and weightlessness. The whole image of Zabela-Vrubel is numerous clusters of crystals. Lilac and light green shades remind of violets and pansies drowning in lush greenery, the heroine is full of charm and tranquility.
To this day, there are many photographic images of Vrubel’s wife. In one photograph, Zabela plays the role of the Snow Maiden, her hair is loose, and her facial expression is exactly repeating what is shown in the portrait. Apparently, it was with this picture that the spouse of the artist was inspired.
If we compare the photographs of Nadezhda Ivanovna with the Vrubel portraits, we will notice that the painter exaggerated the shortcomings of his companion. In life, Zabela-Vrubel had a less elongated face. The artist made the chin heavier, changed the section of the eyes, transformed other facial features. In the pictures, the singer appears young, pretty and simple, and on the canvases of her husband - mysterious and even demonic.