Burning the prototype of Avvakum, Myasoedov, 1897

Burning the prototype of Avvakum, Myasoedov, 1897
Burning the prototype of Avvakum, Myasoedov, 1897 - 1

    • Author: Grigory Grigoryevich Myasoedov
    • Museum: Private collection
    • Year: 1897

Overview of the painting :

Burning the prototype of Avvakum – Grigory Grigoryevich Myasoedov. 1897. Oil on canvas. 67.5×103.5

The terrible execution was depicted by the artist. After many years of the most terrible prison, famine, bullying, the prototype Avvakum was sentenced to be burned at the stake alive. Pustozersk (place of execution) is a small northern town. Residents of all estates gathered to look at the execution.

Flame languages approach the figures of doomed. Heavy yellow smoke rises. Two are tied to pillars. Protopopop Avvakum is an ideologist of schism, the defender of the “old” faith is a gray-haired old man, exhausted to extremes, but not broken, full of a frantic desire to defend the “true faith”. He peeps into the crowd, wishing every witness of his death to look into his eyes before his death.

In the crowd stands out borarin in a gold-expanded fur coat, the devil holding a royal decree in his hands, read out shortly before the start of the execution, the priest reading the absentee prayer. All three represent power in the picture. Defenders of power – gunners secreted by red caftans – guard the fire from the pressure of the crowd.

The people gathered for execution are a dreddy. Those who sympathize with Avvakum are immediately visible. But there are very few of them. The woman extended her hands to the condemned, the man raised his hand in a bipartisanity, a symbol of old-timacy. But most of those present are indifferent.

A spear in the hands of a shooter, figures of those unhappy at the stake, a church against the background of execution, a crowd of onlookers – all these details give rise to associations with the crucifixion of Christ at Calvary. The author seems to be trying to say that the true size of the captured tragedy will become clear much later. It is known that it was after the execution of Avvakum that the mass relocation of the old-timer-shells outside of Russia began.