Once, when we were in fifth grade, I saw a portrait of Ivan the Terrible standing on the stand in the study of literature. I felt somehow uneasy, but to be honest – even scary. By that time I knew Vasnetsovskaya “Alyonushka”, “Carpet-plane”, “Three princesses of the underworld” and, of course, “Bogatyrs”. At the stand for high school students there were reproductions of paintings unknown to me. And among them – “Tsar Ivan Vasilyevich the Terrible”. Three years have passed since then, but I still feel scary about this picture.
Now I understand that from the meeting with the king in my life it was even more terrible. Here it is in front of us in full growth, the full height of the picture. The face of the king is
The king fully justifies the name given to him – Grozny. How terrible his sight! He drills, pervades you, leaving no hope for royal favor. Praying for mercy is useless, even if you are not guilty of anything.
Closed space is broken by a small semicircular window through which the snow-covered pointed roofs of houses are visible. But they are like under the feet of the tsar, and he is above them, over Moscow and over all Russia of the 16th century. In his hands, power and oprichniks. That is why the background of the picture is dark red, gloomy, like the era in which the terrible king lived and ruled. The picture looks like blood smelling – even today.