Collection

Lívio Abramo (1903 - 1992)

Untitled (from the series White Nights) (1955)

Wood engraving on translucent paper
height: 17cm
width: 11cm
Print

Donated by Alex Gama 1995

69:4-1995

In this print Abramo explores the shifting boundaries between dreams and reality at the heart of Dostoyevsky's story. On their fourth 'white night' together Nastenka, despairing of her first love, agrees to marry the devotedly supportive narrator but just when the clouds clear from the sky and his dreams seem to be turning to reality Nastenka's original suitor reappears and she runs joyfully to his arms. Abramo shows the narrator watching while above the St Petersburg skyline the happy couple sweep up into the starry sky on a shaft of light, a vision entirely in tune with his own sentimental dreamings. Ironically he had earlier commented to Nastenka that life for real men 'does not float away like a dream, like a vision'.

Valerie Fraser, 2009

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