The morning of the execution, Vasily Ivanovich Surikov

Description of the picture:

The morning of the shootings – Vasily Ivanovich Surikov. 1878-1881. Canvas, oil. 223×383.5

   The work of V.I. Surikov (1848-1916) represents the pinnacle of Russian historical painting of the second half of the 19th century. Once the artist was struck by the image – a candle lit during the day – as a symbol of tragedy and doom. The master of large-scale historical paintings for many years hatched him in himself, until he embodied the theme of reprisal against archers in the painting “Morning of the Archery Execution”. The dim light of a gloomy morning in the bluish air of a candle in an still alive hand was associated with execution. The central storyline of the picture and its main emotional core is the opposition of the crossed views of the archer with a red beard and Tsar Peter. A flaming hatred of irreconcilable gaze strikes across the entire space of the picture, encountering the king’s angry and equally irreconcilable gaze.

Enlarged fragments of the painting Morning of the Archery Execution - Vasily Surikov

   The architectural design of the canvas is very important. The lonely tower of the Kremlin matches the lonely figure of the king; the second, the nearest tower, brings together a crowd of observers, boyars and foreigners; the even formation of soldiers exactly repeats the line of the Kremlin wall. The artist deliberately moved all the buildings to the Forefront, using the compositional method of convergence of plans and creating the effect of a huge crowd of people. The cathedral continues and crowns this crowd of people, but the central tent of the Church of the Intercession did not seem to fit into space: it is “cut off” by the upper edge of the picture and symbolizes the image of Russia, beheaded by Peter I."