Vrubel, Mikhail [Vrubel’, Mixail], b 17 March 1856 in Omsk, Russia, d 14 April 1910 in Saint Petersburg. (Photo: Mikhail Vrubel.) Russian painter and designer; member of the Saint Petersburg Academy of Arts from 1905. After graduating from the Saint Petersburg Academy of Arts in 1884, he lived in Kyiv. There he supervised the restoration of the frescoes in Saint Cyril's Monastery by the students of the Kyiv Drawing School and restored several sections himself. He painted the church's icons and frescoes Theotokos and Child, Descent of the Holy Ghost, Saint Cyril, Saint Athanasius, and Mourning at the Sepulcher; the ornamental designs in the side naves of Saint Volodymyr's Cathedral (his mural sketches, such as Angel with a Censer and a Candle, 1887, and Lamentation, 1887, were turned down); and oils and watercolors, such as Girl against the Background of a Persian Carpet (1886), Oriental Fairy Tale (1886), and Hamlet and Ophelia (1884). From 1889 he lived in Moscow. He was obsessed with the Demon figure as a symbol of individual pride and rebellion and painted several versions of it. Many of his secular works are fine examples of Russian symbolism.
[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 5 (1993).]