[Musical Iconagraphy] [String Quartets] [Krylov, Ivan. (1769-1844)]
Animal String Quartet - Original Painting
A very colorful and charming painting depicting a string quartet made up of a goat, a monkey, a donkey and a bear. A decorative border has been drafted in pencil around the scene, but evidently not completed. Below the image, a note in pencil indicates the names of the animals (Dana, Misha Grisha, Serge, and Nathan!) and a quotation in Russian reads: "...it doesn't matter how you sit / you will never be a musician." On heavy card with overall toning, wear, some splatter marks at the lower left, and tape remnants at the left and right; the painting itself in fine condition. 18 x 12.5 inches (45.5 x 32 cm).
The painting is a representation of the well-known Russian fable "Quartet" by poet Ivan Krylov, and the hand-written caption quotes the last two lines of the poem. The fable tells the story of a monkey, donkey, goat, and bear who sit down to try to play string quartets, but are unsuccessful, despite trying various seating formations. When they eventually ask a passing nightingale (also pictured in this painting!) for her advice, she tells them that no seating arrangement will help them to be musicians: they are lacking the right ear.