Ultra-romantic Black Shawl monument

Work by sculptor Igor Chernoglazov - Ultra-romantic Black Shawl monument, 1999, marble, granite. Museon, Moscow
Work by sculptor Igor Chernoglazov, inspired by “The Black Shawl” poem by Alexandr Pushkin – Ultra-romantic Black Shawl monument, 1999, marble, granite. Museon park, Moscow

Ultra-romantic Black Shawl monument
Pushkin wrote the poem “The Black Shawl” during his stay in Moldova. However, “The Black Shawl” appeared under the influence of the two texts of poet Zhukovsky. From his ballad “Revenge” (1816), Pushkin borrowed the motive of drowning the corpse in the river at night and a rhythmic-stanzaic structure. The second important work is “Alina and Alsim” (1814). It tells the story of two lovers separated by their parents. The girl was married. One day a young man secretly came to her in the guise of a trader, to say goodbye forever. Alsim pressed Alina’s hand to his heart. At this time, her husband entered. Blinded by jealousy, he stabbed both of them with a dagger. Before her death, the girl confessed to her husband that she was innocent. According to the finale of the ballad, afterwards the ghost of the bloodied Alina in a black shawl constantly pursued the murderer.

The Black shawl monument
The Black shawl monument

Pushkin partially borrows from Zhukovsky’s plot. Alexander Sergeevich also features a shawl (in “Alina and Alsima” the husband twice offered his wife to buy it). In fact, Pushkin tells the story on behalf of the temperamental jealous. Most of the contemporary critics of the “Black Shawl” accepted it with delight as an excellent example of ultra-romanticism.

Almost immediately Pushkin’s poem gained extraordinary popularity. In 1823-1924 composer Verstovsky put the text on the music. Soon the work of Alexander Sergeevich entered the songbooks. Then it turned into a popular print. In 1831, the premiere of a one-act ballet entitled “The Black Shawl, or Punishment of Infidelity” took place.

“The Black Shawl” by Alexander Pushkin,
published November 1820

I look like mad, on a black shawl,
And a sadness torments my cold soul.

When gullible and young I was,
I had a passionate love for a Greek;

The lovely maiden caressed me,
But soon I lived to a black day.

One day I called some guests;
A despicable Jew knocked at me;

“With you they feast (he whispered), your friends;
But your Greek has cheated on you. ”

I gave him gold and cursed him
And called my faithful servant.

We went out; I raced on a fast horse;
And meek pity was silent in me.

As soon as I saw the threshold of the Greek,
Eyes darkened, I’m exhausted …

I entered the remote house alone …
The infidel girl was kissed by an Armenian.

I did not see the light; Bulat roared …
The villain did not have time to interrupt the kiss.

The headless body I long trampled
And silently, pale, looked at the maid.

I remember the prayers … the flowing blood …
The Greek lost her life, and I lost my love!

From the head of her dead, taking off the black shawl,
I silently cleaned bloody steel.

My slave, as the evening mist has come,
Threw away their bodies into the Danube waves.

Since then, I do not kiss beautiful eyes,
Since then, I do not know the merry nights.

I look like mad, on a black shawl,
And the sadness torments my cold soul.

Ultra-romantic Black Shawl monument

The Museon Art Park, Moscow
The Museon Art Park, Moscow