Picture “Sirin and Alkonost”, Vasnetsov, 1896

Picture “Sirin and Alkonost”, Vasnetsov, 1896
Picture "Sirin and Alkonost", Vasnetsov, 1896 - 1

  • Author: Viktor Mikhailovich Vasnetsov
  • Museum: Tretyakov Gallery
  • Year: 1896

Overview of the painting :

Sirin and Alkonost – Victor Mikhailovich Vasnetsov. 1896. Oil on canvas. 133×250

   Sirin and Alconost are two inseparable symbols, a couple of opposites. Woe and joy, misfortune and happiness, black and white… In the picture of Vasnetsov, these mythical bird virgins are like doubles, and, at the same time, completely different. Sirin is a black messenger of sorrow, longing for a lost paradise. Anchonost is a bright messenger of joy and pleasure. According to Slavic beliefs, both birds arrive in the garden on the eve of the apple Savior. Sirin mourns the passing summer, the Alconost gives benefits to magical, medicinal properties.

   Vasnetsov creates amazingly bright and colorful images of mythical birds of paradise. If Sirin has black plumage, a exhausted pale face, full of tears of eyes in black eye sockets, covering wings, then the Alconost has a bright plumage, a rosy face, open wings. Sirin completes the old, Alconost – begins a new one. The branches on which the bird virgins sit grow from one tree at the same level, but on opposite sides of the trunk. On the left, and this side of the Slavs has always been “bad”, but connected with the heart, the embodiment of sadness and wilting is located. On the right, on the good side, the embodiment of hope, joy and pleasure.

   The morning orange sky became the background for the picture. The light bird is illuminated by the sun, the dark one, on the contrary, is hiding from the upcoming dawn. Sirin is turned into the past, the Alconost is all in the future. Both virgin birds are one and indivisible – the eternal companions of the life of each person, capable of moderate too much joy, to ease the unbearable grief. The great harmony of life.