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A first look at the canvas can deceive the beholder, as it seems that in the center is a married couple at the time of a sudden conflict. The girl suddenly gets up from the man’s knees, her face conveys a sudden insight and awareness of what is happening. There is no wedding ring on the woman’s hand - this indicates that she is not married. Looking at this element, the picture begins to become clearer: it is likely that she is a fallen woman who only now has realized all the depravity and sinfulness of her actions.
The man’s face does not express surprise: on the contrary, he seems quite cheerful and contented. This element creates a contrast between the emotions of the heroine and the stranger, it also adds expressiveness to the woman. The background of the picture is carefully designed, which is necessary in order to fully present the history of the work. So, almost all the elements of the picture carry a certain semantic load: the cat that caught the bird under the table, the table clock on the piano in the upper right corner is covered with a cap - this indicates irrevocably and uselessly leaked time. One can see the work of Thomas Moore on the piano. Often on a quiet night, in which we are talking about the lost past, beautiful times that have gone into eternity.
The work is saturated with longing for the past and sadness. Knitting threads in the lower right corner are not the most noticeable, but very symbolic element. A thread that can be associated with fate does not go linearly, but is randomly and scattered on the floor. The girl’s struck but clear face testifies to the fact that she suddenly saw everything that surrounds her: sin, and lost time, and a curved path leading only to hell. However, the girl is still young, which means awareness is the first step to correcting errors.
Arnold Becklin Pictures