Men Talking vs. Women Conversing

Four women meet at a café for a night out together.
“Ahh!..” sighs one of them
“Ohh!..” echoes another
“Hmmm!..” resonates the third
The fourth lady stands up abruptly:
“We’ve finally managed to get out to have some fun. Is it too much to ask TO STOP TALKING ABOUT YOUR HUSBANDS ALL THE TIME!?”

M.Krasilnikova. Women’s Conversation

This artist is an academic of the Russian Art Academy. In this painting she portrayed three women, obviously different in character but still a unified group that is intellectual and interesting. It’s night outside, most of the windows (bar one) are dark, they are probably a bit tired by their conversation throughout the night, but they are not tired of each other. They are at the point when much has been said, much has been listened to, and much is to be reflected on now. You can rarely get to this point in a men’s conversation. Men would be arguing, interrupting each other (without much point in interrupting, most of the time) until they get drunk to the point they can’t talk and/or walk any more. Men, when they are together, rarely enjoy the moment of introspective reflection on what has been said before that moment.

The same artist made a painting of men having a conversation which illustrates this difference in a very obvious way:

M.Krasilnikova. Men’s Conversation

And if you liked her paintings, here’s one more.


What I like about it, is that its meaning is not obvious at first glance, but the painting is constructed a way that involves viewers and makes them think. Did people get out of their homes, preceded by the cat, expecting something? Or someone? They don’t think it is something fearful, for they have a kid with them. But the cat does not seem to be happy. Is it a late arrival of someone important to the cat?

The more people look INTO this painting, the more they realise it is about coming home, and it usually generates a rainbow of emotions, not, I must say, positive for everyone.


  1. Can I ask you to talk about the obvious triangles in the third painting ? Even the trees form one, they seem to want to take the eye out of the frame but the bright cat draws it back in – is there a metaphor being made, if so, what is it?

    1. The triangle roofs are a common feature in Russian suburban settlements called “dachas” which are summer homes of people living in large cities. The artist was very much into Cezanne, and Malevich when this painting was made, hence her fascination with triangles (as well as rectanges, and cylinders – this comes from Cezanne) and the cloud shapes and figures (which are Malevich-influenced). She also loved the idea of arranging triangles that would denote multiple convergence points outside the frame of the painting. This creates the impression that there’s more to see and more to experience visually, and it is a trick that she and her husband (also a very good painter) loved to use. Triangles here are a nice visual trick.

  2. I like the one with the cat. For me it is not only thought provoking but positively motivating as well (unlike the two above). What’s happening in this picture – did these/other people leave the cat alone or they just left their home to find the cat and invite it in? Don’t know the answer, some experience hints the negative variant, but one can feel the ability to influence the reality and change it. Kind if you don’t like the reality you see in picture –change the reality in life. Not about cats only of course)) Just like I see it.

  3. To the point they can’t talk anymore? It’s not about you, it’s about chilled vodka. You can bring your man friends to this point by discreetly providing it in sufficient quantities. The weight of them all against the quantity provided – this is what matters )

It would be grand to hear from you now!

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