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This work of art was written by Vasnetsov in 1889 in Ukraine. Currently, the picture is posted in the Tretyakov Gallery. Ivan Tsarevich and his companion flee on a gray wolf.
The plot of the picture emphasizes the theme of fairy tales and fantasies of Russian folk art. These are mysterious trees, a dense forest, a gray wolf that carries fairy-tale heroes on its back. Thus, Vasnetsov is trying to get away from the real and the present, plunging the viewer into a distant and unknown fairy tale past.
In the center of the picture are depicted a rhinestone three heroes of a fairy tale. Ivan Tsarevich, dressed in a luxurious royal dress with a worried and sullen look fixed in the depths of the forest.
Elena the Beautiful in the arms of Ivan Tsarevich. She is frightened and at the same time submissive, laid her head on his chest and completely confided in Ivan. And finally, Ivan's huge and strong gray friend is a wolf who carries away from the inevitable pursuit of his riders. His whole body is tense, his legs are extended, his ears are pressed, which emphasizes the whole movement of the wolf directed somewhere forward. He was already tired of a long jump and barely kept on his feet, saving his friends. The main characters are surrounded by a dense forest, which its branches are trying to catch, and prevent travelers from hiding from the chase.
At the same time, this gives the viewer the danger hanging over Ivan Tsarevich and his chosen companion. The background of the picture is not left unattended by the author. There you can see the trunks of large and centuries-old trees. Their branches are intertwined and can barely let in sunlight.
To the right of the picture, the author depicted a clumsy but flowering tree, and in front of the marshy swamp with blooming water lilies. What can mean a symbol of the origin of something bright, wonderful and hope for a better outcome.
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