Snegurochka (Snow Maiden) at Dawn
oil and acrylic on canvas
11″ x 14″ (16″ x 20″ framed)
Snegurochka is a character from a Russian fairytale, written in the 19th century by Alexander Afanasyev. In this tale, a childless Russian peasant couple creates a snow doll, which magically comes to life. When she grows into a young girl, however, she meets a tragic end by joining other girls in jumping over a bonfire, and evaporating into a puff of steam. Snegurochka is now a ubiquitous feature of Russian New Year’s celebrations, alongside Ded Moroz (Grandfather Frost).
I painted her here in the golden rays of a winter dawn, along the icy shores of the Neva River in St. Petersburg. I love the contrast between the cool blue landscape and the warm hues of her face and hair as the sun shines upon them. In St. Peterburg, winter days are extremely short, and this glowing moment at the start of the day is made all the sweeter because of it.