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Surikova’s “Boyar Morozova: why is this a masterpiece?”

“Boyar Morozov” – a plot from Russian history. And this is an important point.

The tendency to bow before the whole western towards the end of the XIX century began to decline. For the first time in a long time, Russian people became interested in the forgotten past of their country.

This could not but affect art.

Dostoevsky in his novels discusses the spiritual path of the Russian man. In architecture, Russian romanticism flourishes. And Vasily Surikov writes Stenka Razin, Menshikov and Ermak.

Surikov chose a very relevant pictorial niche. His works helped thinking people find answers to the questions: “Who are the Russians?” How did they live, how did they dress, what did they believe in? ”

But the relevance of “Boyar Morozova” is not limited only to the plot of Russian history. Everything is much more interesting.

For this, dig deeper. In the very story of this woman.

But her life is a real detective story of the XVII century! It had everything: court intrigues, and countless wealth. And also revenge. And alas, a tragedy when a person loses everything …

The main power of the picture – PLOT
Theodosia Prokopyevna was a close relative of the first wife of Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich (father of Peter I).

A fragile and elegant girl, Feodosia married at the age of 17 of one of the richest people in the state – Gleb Ivanovich Morozov.

He had a magnificent estate, tens of thousands of peasants. And most importantly – he was the closest adviser to the king himself! Boyar Morozov did not have only one – the heir.

And now the young wife gave birth to his long-awaited son!

It would seem that in front of a happy well-fed life … But one event will not allow this to happen.

After the reforms of Patriarch Nikon, the church “split” into two warring camps. Theodosius was very worried, but firmly decided to remain on the side of the Old Believers.

Then her husband died, her protector. Old Believers were persecuted. Theodosius did not begin to hide her faith. On the contrary, she actively expressed her disagreement with the innovations.

For example, she ordered herself to be carried in a chair for services in the “New Believers” churches, showing her contempt for the reform.

The tsar was outraged by the behavior of Morozova, but the tsarina – Maria Ilyinichna Miloslavskaya stood up for her.

But soon she died, and there was no one to stand up for the noblewoman Morozova.

Meanwhile, Alexei Mikhailovich decided to marry a second time, to Natalia Kirillovna Naryshkina (mother of Peter I).

In those days, the second wedding was played more modestly than the first. The king made an incredibly magnificent celebration. Either Morozova condemned the second marriage, or was dissatisfied with excessive pomp, but the fact remains – she did not come to the wedding!

Alexei Mikhailovich was furious … And he ordered the arrest of Theodosius.

She was tortured on the rack, forcing her to abandon her old faith. But she resisted. For this, they were ready to burn her at the stake! But the boyars stood up, as it was too cruel in relation to the representative of their class.

Then, so as not to cause much noise, the king ordered quietly and imperceptibly to starve a woman in prison.

Meanwhile, all her property was confiscated and presented to the father of the new queen.

Now it’s much easier to appreciate the power of the image of the noblewoman created by the artist.

The second power of the picture – THE IMAGE OF THE FEMALE
Vasily Surikov depicts a key moment in the history of the noblewoman Morozova. She is being taken to Bohr prison to starve to death in an earthen pit.

She, a noble and rich, rides on a simple sleigh with a straw. So the artist emphasizes the experienced humiliation: arrest, torture, a sentence of burning.

But she still does not depart from the old faith. All in black, with a pale and thin face. She reaches up with a double-fingered hand.

She, emaciated and numb from torture, knows that she is going against the system to certain death. She is doomed, but she will never back down.

Bright, very memorable image. Due to the incredible combination of physical weakness and spiritual strength.

Surikov was looking for this image for a very long time. I accidentally saw a woman in an Old Believer cemetery. He realized that such a person “will defeat everyone at once”, that is, in the crowd will become a center that attracts the eye.

The third power of the picture – IMAGE OF THE CROWD
Surikov created an incredibly colorful and motley crowd. Here you can take a long look at the patterns of old clothes.

By the way, that was exactly what they were among the nobles and merchants in the 17th century. The artist himself found preserved samples in order to portray the era realistically.

But the most interesting thing in this crowd is the emotions of people!

Someone madly spares the noblewoman and cries. Someone is inspired and believes even more. Someone is amazed at such courage and fortitude.

And someone laughs: “You have to be so stubborn! Step back and live on, business something. What is the feat? Fanatic … ”

Please note that only the holy fool, sitting in the snow, answers the Old Believer double-breasted boyar. He has nothing to lose. But everyone else is not ready so boldly to go against the royal laws.

Next to the sleigh is Morozova’s sister, Princess Urusova.

She has to accomplish the same feat. She will die of hunger in the same pit in her sister’s arms. But for the crowd, her tragedy will go unnoticed.

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