Makovsky was particularly occupied with the ancient Russian men’s and women’s costume of the prince’s nobility.
The female costume in the XV – XVII centuries was extremely colorful. The top shirts were sewed from colored fabrics. Such a shirt was called red, that is, beautiful. The sleeves of the shirt were slipped in the slits of the armholes of the outer clothing, so they were given special significance to the decoration. On top of the shirt they wore a long-necked sweeping dress with wide sleeves – a guard. The collars were separate, not sewn to the clothes. They pitted with pearls and silks. Standing and spread on the shoulders of the collar was called a necklace, that is, the surrounding throat (vent).
The front headdress was a kokoshnik. The hard part of the kokoshnika was sewn to the cap, which completely covered the head. The ochelle of the kokoshnik was decorated with pearls and colored glass, and to the top was attached a veil of muslin, falling on the shoulders. Kokoshniki also decorated with pearl podnizyami, which were attached to the front of the ocheliya and descended on the neck and forehead.
The richness of the festive costume can be clearly seen in many of Makovsky’s paintings, one of them “Under the Crown”.
In the painting “Under the Crown” Makovsky refers to the timeless plot of the wedding. In the center of the composition is a middle-aged woman. She is dressed in a richly decorated with embroidery and beads boyar attire of pre-Petrine time. According to the custom before the wedding, she combs the beautiful long hair of a young girl sitting in an armchair in white robes.
Tradition prescribed to braid unmarried girls hair in one braid with a bow on the end or “supercar” at the beginning of the braid. To the crown, the bride was already walking with the hair of a married woman: her hair was braided in two braids at the temples and placed in a circle or around her head and a dressing-gown was dressed on top of them. Just this scene was portrayed by Konstantin Egorovich Makovsky in all its drama and festivity.
The girlfriends of the bride, sisters and cousins, a little boy gathered around her. The casket with stones was opened, and pearly beads slipped from it and scattered on the dressing table. With free virtuoso strokes Makovsky writes all this Byzantine luxury and bright young faces, freely orienting himself in the patterns of carpet, lace, embroidery, beaded caissons and pestilions.
The artist was characterized by a festive upbeat vision, perhaps influenced by KP Bryullov with his brilliant academicism. Detailed, but very freely and picturesquely painted, richly decorated with embroidery and pearls clothing, household items and furnishings in the rays of sunlight create a joyful festive mood in a multifigured, with complex angles.
The works of Konstantin Yegorovich always unfold before the viewer, as a splendid theatrical performance, as a grand spectacle. So in this picture the artist gives us to feel the whole piercing mood of the moment, all the circumstances, all the beauties of the boyar life, all the tragedy and the whole festivity of the event.