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In this picture, the image of Ivan the Terrible is conveyed incredibly deeply. Vasnetsov vividly showed how you can create a portrait of a historical character so that it is incredibly lively, as deep and very soulful as possible. We see the formidable exactly as contemporaries describe it. Most likely, the painter was helped by the fact that he was incredibly close to the work of the people, and therefore knew him well.
In the historical songs of the people, Ivan the Terrible appears formidable, but incredibly wise. Most likely, Vasnetsov was also influenced by the ancient buildings of the times of Ivan 4, which so impressed him in Moscow. In particular, this is St. Basil's Cathedral, which expresses all the best that was in the architecture of that era. Most likely, this was what prompted Vasnetsov to seriously think about the personality of the tsar and the content that filled the whole era. It is important that he understood this in a new way.
The painter managed to create a truly majestic image of Ivan the Terrible. This person is distinguished by incredibly strong will, enormous strength of mind, determination, severity, some suspicion, secrecy. All these features were due to the peculiarities of the era when conspiracies and treason constantly occurred. The king is above his whole environment, not only in his rank, but also in the spiritual plane. We feel how peculiar and significant the personality of Ivan the Terrible. Incredibly expressive hands.
The figure of the king occupies the entire canvas vertically, since he is depicted in growth. It is this that contributes to the fact that the feeling of grandeur increases to the limit. The king is above the surrounding, dominates in him, but at the same time he is with him a single whole.
The whole color of the picture is incredibly strict and restrained. The king's robe is conveyed with historical accuracy. The architectural background was created by the imagination of the painter.
The painting was completed in 1879.
Composition By Harvest Picture