As we look at this painting the lines of the poem “Sail” by the Russian 19th-century poet Mikhail Lermontov come to mind:
Beneath the azure current flows,
Above the golden sunlight streaks:—
Yet restless, for the storm it goes,
As if in storms to find peace! *
Surfing board in the shape of a butterfly wing is a clear allusion to flying. The well-known symbolism of a butterfly consists in its ability for metamorphosis or transition from shifting on the ground at the caterpillar stage to fluttering in the sky. The same ability belongs to the human spirit, which has overcome its suppressed state, soars upwards to the state of absolute freedom. In the painting, this upward movement is illustrated by the wave rising towards the drawing force of the sunrays. This exalted human state is colloquially referred to as “winged,” and the whole painting can be interpreted as a hymn to human courage and spiritual determination.