The painting represents whole layers of life of many generations, whose destinies are tied together with a symbolic thread. This thread is in the hands of a Horseman in the guise of the noble knight-errant Don Quixote.
The analogy of the ‘thread-river’ connections can be effectively traced in the painting. We see a needle sewing with a thread “patches of autonomy” into a certain “fabric State.”
It can be of interest in this case to remember the history of Europe. In the beginning of the 20th century Austria-Hungary was referred to as “patchwork empire,” for it looked as if it was made of pieces of multiple small countries and regions “stitched” together. Even on the map it appeared as patchwork: Austria, Hungary, Czech Republic, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
On the other hand is the river – the mighty symbol of a road running like a winding axis from top to bottom in the painting and connecting separate countries and regions, destinies of people and generations. In Europe such a symbol is represented by the rivers Danube and Rhine, in Russia – by the Volga river. In Hinduism the Ganges river was an axis-type symbol of the whole Universe, simultaneously representing the movement of time (and it is known that, like water, “time flows”).
The ongoing metaphor “river-road-life” is represented in a number of paintings by the artist, including Current and Le Reve.
Hands touching to “throw a bridge” connecting the two sides of the river is one more metaphor with an obvious meaning of unity in the painting.
Looking at the painting, we can reflect on the symbolic role of the thread. Modern concept of the role that a thread can play in human destiny could be of interest here. Surprisingly, the secret of human life is contained within a ‘thread’ of one meter long and only a few parts per billion of millimeter wide. Experts call it DNA or Deoxyribonucleic acid. Molecule structure of the DNA is called double helix. It is here that genetic programme of a person’s development is enciphered and it therefore contains all their large and small familial secrets and possibly their destiny. The winding course of the river-thread can be associated with the life giving DNA thread, as in the analogy “destiny of the peoples – destiny of the individual.”