Painting “Morozov’s Fight”, Surikov

Painting “Morozov’s Fight”, Surikov
Painting "Morozov's Fight", Surikov - 1

  • Posted by Vasily Ivanovich Surikov
  • Museum: Tretyakov Gallery
  • Year: 1884-1887

Overview of the painting :

Boyar Morozova – Vasily Ivanovich Surikov. 1884-1887. Oil on canvas. 304×587.5

   Split… That’s the point, idea, the plot of a great picture. Heavy sledges on which the “royal aunt” shackled into shackles split the crowd, as the reforms of Patriarch Nikon split the Russian people.

   As Leonardo da Vinci had been looking for a prototype for Jesus Christ in the painting “The Last Supper” for a long time, Surikov could not find the “face” of the Borozovy harehouse. Such faces rarely meet in life, and people like the rebellious hawthorn are even less common. For 4 years the artist worked on his most brilliant picture. Hundreds of sketches, thousands of sketches, hundreds of thousands of fixes, constant searches. The result brought the master immortality.

   Undoubtedly, the work is dedicated to the great rebel, rebellious boyar, the relative of the king himself. The heroine’s face is pale, her hands are bloodless. A desperate gesture in front of the icon of the Virgin is the last attempt to defend the “old” faith.

   Muscovites gathered around the exiled hawthorn. In different ways, they accompany the schismatic. To her left is a group of deacers who laugh cheerfully, watching the “red woman”. They are on the side of power, so they are confident in the justice of what is happening.

   The reaction of the children depicted in the picture is interesting. Some laugh cheerfully, imitating adults and not understanding the meaning of their joy. Others watch the hawthorn with undisguised fear, frightened by its fanatical gesture, eyes burning with rage, shackles in the hawthorn hands.

   In the picture, do not find a single happy female face. About the exiled mourning and hawthorns in rich fur coats, and old women, and girls from the people. Particular attention is drawn to the pale face of the young nun, whose eyes are filled with horror.

   Among the gathered people it is easy to see the Old Believers. They are given clothes, a special look in which anxiety is mixed with outright fear for their future. The co-religionists do not betray themselves to anything. Only the holy foolish without any fear repeat the “criminal” gesture, thereby showing their sincere sympathy to the “state criminal”.

   In the crowd you can see several Tatar faces, tense, attentive. Muslims look with involuntary respect at the fearless behavior of the “heretic”.

   Winter Moscow against the background – as if in a frosty haze. There are many temples on the way of prison sleds. And near every Borozovy will turn to Muscovites with a word. The crowd will not lag behind.

   So, under laughter, hooting, sobbing, sorrow, moans, cries of the holy fool, a new era of Russia begins, an era of schism.