Sound track for the painting:

S. V. Rachmaninoff. Piano Concerto No.2, Op.18 Moderato. V. D. Ashkenazy and London Symphony Orchestra/André Previn

Aroma for the painting:

Salvador Dali. Purplelight

Taste for the painting:
a traditional Napoleon cake with two layers of puff pastry, a layer of whipped cream and apple jam, the top pastry layer dusted with pastry crumbs


Technique: oil on cardboard

Dimensions: 49 х 34 cm

Style: Positive Synergism


On 28 March 1897, Sergei Rachmaninoff had a nervous breakdown because of his First Symphony non-successful performance. As a result, Rachmaninoff fell into a period of deep depression and was feeling intolerable pains in his back, legs, and arms. He went into a creative block that lasted three years, during which he wrote almost nothing…
Particularly at the time, there was in fashion psychologist Nikolai Dahl, who had graduated from the Moscow University Medical School, and who, after internships with the two biggest authorities in the world, had already successfully started healing with hypnotherapy himself. Among his patients might be mentioned Feodor Chaliapin, Alexander Scriabin, and Konstantin Stanislavsky… Rachmaninoff began a course of autosuggestive therapy with Doctor Dahl. Quite soon he began to recover his confidence and, eventually, was already able to overcome his writer's block and complete his Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, which marked a new period in his creative work and became one of the most popular and frequently played concertos in the piano repertoire. It was performed and recorded by Rachmaninoff himself, by Vladimir Horowitz, Sviatoslav Richter, Arthur Rubinstein, Rosa Tamarkina, Byron Janis, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Nikolai Petrov, Van Cliburn, Denis Matsuev


No matter in which countries and concert halls Sergei Rachmaninoff was playing, apart from a grandiose success, there was always a gorgeous bouquet of fresh tender lilac awaiting him… And it started exactly after the performance of the Second Concerto… An enigmatic unknown lady, who was sending these flowers, remained a mystery, until the moment, when the veil, covering the legend, was removed by Sergei Vasilievich Rachmaninoff’s grandson Alexander Borisovich Rachmaninoff. He said that his grandmother shortly before her dearth opened ‘the mystery of the lilac’ on condition that it would become public knowledge only 50 years after her decease (which, by the way, happened in 1951).


Exactly at Doctor Dahl’s place, 25-year old Sergei met his niece Elena Dahl, who became that faithful, but mysterious, travelling companion of Rachmaninoff’s life…
Alexander Borisovich could not submit any factual statement of the information, though in the Glinka State Central Museum of Musical Culture it was confirmed that enigmatic Elena Dahl definitely was
Sergei Rachmaninoff’s nearest relation. The evidence of their relationship could also be found in music: in one of his Fantasy Pieces albums, the autograph of ‘Delmo’ is available, which is likely to mean ‘Dahl Elena Morisovna’…


This painting is also an allusion to Irises - one of the most famous and expensive canvases by Vincent van Gogh; one of many paintings and prints of irises by the Dutch artist; his Second Concerto… Purple flowers against the sunflower-yellow background… They are also full of appealing fondness and mystery… It is an allusion to the mystery of his life, his love, and his end…


On 23 December 1888, after one of the regular quarrels with Gauguin, van Gogh suddenly attacked his friend with a razor in his hand… Until now, the whole truth about this argument and the circumstances of the attack are not obvious, however, it does seem likely that van Gogh, that same evening, severed his left ear (either wholly or in part; accounts differ) with a razor… and was committed to an asylum. The hospital diagnosis was ‘generalized delirium’, and within a few days, van Gogh was sectioned. In the mental hospital, van Gogh was living for a year, during which he created more than 150 paintings and 100 drawings and watercolors, where the canvas with the famous ‘Irises’ belongs… He called the painting ‘the lightning conductor for my illness’ because he felt that he could keep himself from going insane by continuing to paint…
The first owner of the painting was the French art critic and anarchist Octave Mirbeau, who was also one of Van Gogh's first supporters. Mirbeau paid 300 francs for it.
In 1987, i.e. almost 100 years later, it was sold for US$53.9 million, and thus became the most expensive painting ever sold, setting a record, which stood for two and a half years…



We don’t happen to meet in the street

- the roads arrange us to meet.

They hug us, and love us in dust.

Throwing up their hands, they are trailingl through sunflowers


or the glistening crops of the ryes.


The bridges, on thick and strong cables, reared up

like four horses in flames.

A cobble to cobble will tightly fit in,

into diaries randomly words dropping in.


The eyes will look fully mature.

Into smoke will be dipped

the interlaced cluster of joints and wrists.

Has the dragon calmed down outward,

you don’t know,

who and how long for,

permanent or… a guest, nothing more...


The shop window is lighted, and the train

is repeatedly beating the drum brakes in vain.

Someone is steering, some…


The stub is being steered along the platform.

The tray –

with a glass-holder,

tea, and some sugar,

and the train horn’s or nightingale’s rhythmical trill…

I won’t finish my cigarette, and won’t say good-byes,

it’s just you and me, but three pairs of eyes…


So, the slight one and delicate looking takes to flight quickly off,


sliding through fingers, oooohhh, the gentle breeze blowings.

No fear to crash, not too late to be born:

for some… to skydive, but for some…

to freefall!

B. Gogulan


Thus, two mysteries met… Two?!...

© 2015-2023 The Institute of the Sun
Pictures of the paintings: Sergrei Didyk