Smoke candle. The clock is ticking from the corner. Recently, they beat – four o’clock, dawn will soon. But in St. Petersburg it is not customary to go to bed. All night in the room is a game, measured, like the ticking of a clock. Someone passed. Someone raised the rate. Someone is hiding discontent and aversion to the cards in hand for bravado. The girl in the portrait looks over her head with an expression of chained contempt on her beautiful face. Grotesque black shadows roam the walls.
Five officials are playing preference. The day ended, the night passed. During the day they worked – or rather, they depicted that they were working. Here are their faces – sagging cheeks, lumpy skin, swollen eyes. Clenched lips. They know how to lie, they can take bribes nicely. They know how to play until the morning, not admitting how the ubiquitous boredom sharpens them. In the afternoon, they shifted the pieces of paper, depicting a vigorous activity.
But soon the dawn and all the harder to hide from yourself. The youngest of them is yawning – widely, openly, without even hiding unwillingness to play the game behind the palm covering the mouth. What he does here, he does not understand himself. Sinking in the stifling boredom of the summer night.
One of the officials is drinking. So drink inveterate drunkards – sharply, in one gulp, throwing back his head and not paying attention to anyone. He was bored by the game, he was tired of sticky cards. Vodka is tepid, but it’s not a big deal.
Three play. Fingers nervously banging on the green cloth of the table. The eldest of officials hides uncertainty. Hands move, lips move, he considers, how it is more correct to go. The other two looking displeased, expectant and smug. The old man loses, they are well aware of this.
And they are also bored, and while at least someone loses or wins, they can occupy themselves for at least half an hour, at least for an hour. Another minus day, and minus one more. Boredom kills them..
This is the last picture of Vasnetsov on everyday topics. As if disappointed in the languid boredom of the world, he turned to the scenes fabulous, seeking salvation in them.