Russian artist Viktor Vasnetsov wrote many pictures related to the Russian epic, fairy tales and bylinas, Russian history. But the picture of “Bogatyri”, of course, is the pinnacle of his work. This is a mature epic work, the creation of which the painter gave almost thirty years. It was completed in 1898.
This picture is often called “Three heroes”, which, of course, reflects the essence of the picture: it depicts three Russian knights, strong, worthy, beautiful, reliable. These fairy-tale characters are well known to us in the folk Russian byliny. They are all dressed in military armor, each with a weapon. They carry a watch somewhere in the hilly fields, they look, whether everything is in order in the Russian land.
Strength, wisdom, youth and luck
Not without reason to the saddle behind him are attached a harp. Each of the heroes has his own weapon, which gives them the opportunity to fight against any enemy. Ilya Muromets holds a spear in his hands. Dobrynya Nikitich takes out his sword from the scabbard, while Alyosha Popovich confidently holds the bow. They will be able to protect their land. The helmets of the heroes in part resemble church domes, it is not accidental that Vasnetsov, as an artist, attached importance to this moment.
The plot of the picture is fabulous and symbolic, while the viewer knows and understands every detail of the canvas, we all know the names of the three heroes. We understand that the epic about the three heroes relates us by the time when the Mongol-Tatar yoke hung over Russia. But the symbolism of the picture is that it reminds us: there have always been enough heroes in the Russian land.
Landing in the saddle says that the bogatyrs feel confident, unshakable. The wind pulls the manes and tails of horses, which adds drama to the picture. Each hero is endowed with his individuality, each represents a type of Russian warrior. At the same time, they together represent one whole, one united force. They are together and, therefore, invincible.