The painting “Visit to the Tsarevna Convent” was written by Surikov in 1912. This is the last significant work of the great artist.
In this historical and everyday work the artist does not talk about some specific historical event, but tells about life in pre-Petrine Russia. Since for the princess in that era, because of religious considerations, marriage was almost impossible, the only road for her was the road to the monastery. The moment of visiting the monastery, in which the girl had to live, describes Surikov in his painting.
The main role in the composition of the canvas is given to the princess, who entered under the arches of the monastery. On the princess beautiful clothes, decorated with gold and silver, on the crown – a lot of precious stones. An elderly boyary in a fur hat, following, closely follows, whether everything corresponds to the routine.
Before the titled mistress, servants and nuns bowed in black robes. With curiosity, perhaps with envy, they look at her. The room seems somehow mysterious because of the light of the flickering candles.
With great skill the artist conveys the spiritual purity of the princess. The girl’s face illuminates some childhood dreaminess and real faith. There is in the girl and the charm of youth. Soft skin with warm blush, fair hair, very beautifully delineated lips, clear gray eyes – in front of us is a beautiful young girl who knows how to enjoy beautiful clothes and entertainments, and is fooled around with nurses and mothers.
What awaits the princess after her tonsure? Radiant youth swallows the womb of the monastery, and the look will become apathetic and indifferent. The artist compares and contrasts the naive faith, the bright hopes of the young princess to the gloomy disappointment of the nuns, who have long been not seeking joy in life or in religion.