The composition of Vasnetsov’s painting “The Knight at the Crossroads”

The composition of Vasnetsov’s painting “The Knight at the Crossroads”

The picture tells the viewer that everything in life is a choice, but there are moments when there is not, what to choose, when there is no choice, and will have to go where fate tells. Maybe because that way you can become either a winner in life or a loser to death.

Often VM Vasnetsov described in his paintings legendary events or fairy tales. The images of ancient Russian heroes, mighty heroes, always attracted him and stimulated him to write great canvases. In addition to the already well-known to the whole world, the author has sketches and drawings, in which he practiced writing characters from epic heroes.

The plan to draw a picture of “The Knight at the Crossroads” Vasnetsov arose almost immediately, after making a few sketches, the author showed them to

his friend. Then the artist was still very young, he was only twenty years old. This canvas was finished in 1882. The author even admitted that this picture was an expression of his inner feelings and thoughts.

The image of the hero – the main and most important thing that is on the canvas, he rides a horse. However, here a stumbling block appears in front of him, on which there is an inscription. Previously, there was more than one inscription on the stone, however, over time, blown by the wind and washed by the rain, he pawed and as if deprived the hero of the right to choose. Now the stone block says only that the hero has one way out – to go straight. “As straight go – I do not live byvati – there is no way either to the passer-by, nor the traveler, nor the transit.” That’s all, left without a choice, the hero, a little sad, lowered his spear. He pondered and, exhausted by his thoughts, read the inscription. Now his destiny is sealed, which means that he has only one road now.

Even more dull and reflective are the heroes of the kite and the skull that lies near the stone and shows that there were heroes and there were courageous people who also wanted to try their luck. These signs foreshadow the tired traveler even more trouble. Also visible is the dying dawn, which is hidden by thunderclouds. What will the knight have to do now? Where to go and what choice to make? After all, he had no choice, the road is now only forward, to the unknown and unknown. Although only one thing is known: the road ahead is the road to a feat that will be crowned with death.


The composition of Vasnetsov’s painting “The Knight at the Crossroads”