The painting was painted by Russian painter Nikolai Nikolayevich Ge on canvas with the help of oil in 1856. Its size is small. Only 288x341.
The painting was painted in dark colors using bright color contrasts. The spirit is dressed in a snow-white robe, and the king in a blood-red mantle. This allows us to expressively distinguish precisely these two figures from the rest of the dark background.
You can easily pay attention to the academic manner of writing. You can also notice the following the customs of K. Bryullov.
The plot of the picture is as follows: in preparation for the battle with the Philistines, King Saul turns to a woman with magical abilities to predict his future - he no longer has dreams, and he began to believe that his connection with God was lost.
But it’s not easy to find a sorceress. Saul personally ordered his subordinates to expel all magicians and sorcerers, fearing curses and corruption.
When she was with the sorceress, she asked Saul the question: “What kind of person do you intend to summon the spirit, great king?”. Saul’s decision was not predictable - he wanted to know the answer from the deceased Samuel. This was the one that, even when it existed, predicted the death of the king and all his blood heirs.
Saul wants another prophecy from Samuel. But the spirit of the deceased tells the same message that he had said during his life - in preparation for the battle with the Philistines, the kings will die. Unlucky and completely without strength, Saul falls to the floor, having lost the chance of all hope. This instant was captured by Ge on his canvas.
Who actually appeared to the king? Was this really the true spirit of Samuel? Or maybe this is the work of a simple charlatan? It was these issues that began to excite people at all times, clothed in topics for long discussions.
The artist did not have a goal to embody the whole truth in his picture. It professionally reflects biblical history in the exact form in which it has survived.
Painting Shishkin Forest