Dobuzhinsky is a master of urban landscape graphics. He was very fond of drawing Petersburg streets and the boiling and boiling life on it. He was more interested not in architectural beauties, but in what was happening around. Mstislav Valerianovich believed that in the world of life there is a secret, mysticism. He paid attention to “grimaces and oddities” in the streets, in parks, in museums. It can be attributed to the adherents of symbolism. The city that the artist portrays as a single organism, filled with paradoxical reality.
The painting “City grimaces” was painted with watercolor in gouache on paper in 1908. The painting depicts a rich funeral procession, walking along the streets of St. Petersburg. The mourning procession is led by torchbearers dressed in white robes carrying lanterns in their hands.
Surprisingly accurately, Dobuzhinsky depicts the ongoing action, the rhythm of the plot. The artist with irony, using color contrasts, conveys the whole essence of paradoxical being - a mournful and rich ceremony and a bright, frivolous city life, the curiosity of passers-by, the poor organ grinder.
The action takes place in the pouring rain, on one of the streets of St. Petersburg. The procession runs along the fence, on which there is an advertisement with a picture of a smiling brightly painted lady with a deep neckline. This poster looks vulgar and tasteless. On the other side of the procession is depicted a poor organ grinder who, in solidarity, removed his headgear with his monkey. Next to the organ-grinder is a crowd of "onlookers" who are watching what is happening. One of the observers, discussing what is happening, points a finger at the funeral procession. This stranger’s gesture ironically coincides with an advertising gesture. The artist in this way conveys the cynicism of society in the picture.
Sculpture by David Michelangelo