In the1890s Mikhail Vrubel met the composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and this friendship influenced the creative work of the artist. He produced a number of sets and a series of sculptures in which one can see the motifs from the pieces of the composer. Among them there is the Tsar of the Sea, a character from the opera “Sadko”. The head of the lord of the sea appears as if from the deep.
The expression of the face of “Ancient Poseidon” is full of tenderness and sadness before parting with his daughter Volhova. The lively impressionist modelling enabled Vrubel to find such decorative representation that showed, in the atmosphere of the legendary subject, its musical qualities. Mostly thanks to this, the sculpture fits organically in the interiors of Art Nouveu style. It was exhibited at the World of Art exhibition and at the Lemercier Gallery in Moscow in 1915.