The picture shows a large woman in a rich apparel. The interior provides an opportunity to imagine the device of a rich cell for a noble person: on the walls of the icon, on the tablecloth tablecloth. The girl sitting in the back of the princess in monastic robes looks timidly at her from under her brows.
Sophia herself is the embodiment of independence and fury. Folded arms, proud posture, loose hair let you compare her image with an unshakable ascetic in her faith. The features of her face are harsh, her eyes are fixed on the viewer, in restrained mimicry, suffering from the insult and spiritual confusion is felt, in the pose – the defiance of the tsar’s dignity.
Through the lattice on the window you can see the silhouette of a hanged archer – a mute reproach to the princess, because of which people are dying.
Russian composer, a contemporary of Repin, M. Mussorgsky gave a destructive assessment of the painting “The Princess Sophia.” Working on his opera Khovanshchina, he deeply penetrated the atmosphere of the XVII century, so that he could make up his judgment about the picture.
He wrote: “My dream called me to a small fat woman who had not once experienced life… but I saw… a woman, angry but not angry, a huge woman, but not small, all blurred to the point that, with her the size… the viewer had little room. “
I. Repin “Tsarevna Sofya Alexeyevna a year after her imprisonment in the Novodevichy Convent, during the execution of the Streltsi and torture of all her servants in 1698.” (1879)