Vladimir Tovstik, the People’s Artist of Belarus and a professor, worked in the genres of portraits, still lifes and complex allegorical compositions. His painting is always in some fourth dimension where there are times and spaces, contemporaries and heroes of bygone eras, real events and ghostly memories.

The subject for the painting ‘Melody of the Fading Night’ (1994) is from Minsk nightlife. The artist recalls that in the early 1990s, while walking through the town at night, he was impressed with a saxophonist playing in the street. He just walked down the street and played. Vladimir Tovstik did not remember this musician’s face and melody performed by her. The night, the saxophone and the enchanting atmosphere of Minsk – and the canvas has the jazz town with a beautiful stranger and a musician.

The key to understanding the works by Vladimir Tovstik is music. The painted ‘narrative’ spreads out before us in a syncopated rhythm, with the bright organization of space. The artist presents this beautiful stranger as a jewel. She is fascinated by the jazz melody. She closed her eyes to enjoy the sounds of the fading night. Tovstik finds a very capacious image of the saxophonist. He depicts her during culmination. She seems to play her last note, after which there will be solemn silence. The musician will disappear behind the curtain, which is already beginning to appear in the lower right corner of the picture. The true swing jazz rhythm arises due to decorative fragments and ornamental ‘pieces’ all around the canvas. Finally, blue color literally materializes the sensual sound of the saxophone and reflects the theme of breakup, creativity, escape, ambiguity and mystery.