The painting “The Morning of the Strelets Execution” was written by V. Surikov in 1881. In it, he first turned to the genre, which is the essence of his painting – the image of the Russian people in the bright, critical moments of history. The canvas describes the events that took place in Moscow in 1698, during the era of Peter I, when the Streletsky revolt was brutally suppressed, and the streltsy were executed.
The artist carefully examined the testimonies of eyewitnesses, but depicted the event in accordance with his understanding of his historical meaning. On the canvas, we see not the execution itself, but full of the enormous psychological stress of a minute before the inevitable execution. The action takes place in Moscow on Red Square, against the background
Early morning, the fog had not yet vanished. In the center of the composition are two heroes-Peter, sitting on horseback, and red-haired archer in a red cap. The Sagittarius is tied, his legs are shackled, but he has not reconciled himself to his fate. He looks at Pyotr with fierce anger. We see the same irreconcilable glance with Peter. Equally emotionally and expressively, other characters are shown.
The first sentenced soldiers were already dragged to the gallows. Like a hunted beast, the black-bearded Sagittarius looks around. The sight of the gray archer is insane – the horror of what will happen now has confused his mind. Sagittarius, standing on the cart, bent down, bidding farewell to the people. Desperately screams the young wife of the archer, helplessly sank to the ground an old mother. The tragedy of what is happening is emphasized by the heavy, dark coloring of the canvas. Skillfully arranging the composition, the artist skillfully creates the impression of a huge crowd full of emotion, energy and movement.
With love and attention is Surikov on the canvas to the smallest details that characterize the historical era. The painting “The Morning of the Archer’s Tissue” was solved by Surikov as a folk drama. He told us about the people, his power, his anger and suffering in an era full of complexities and contradictions.