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Stepan Razin - Vasily Surikov. 1906
Severe and thoughtful Cossack chieftain. He turns away from the proposed spell with the intoxicated wine. Only one Cossack has fun, one that offers a cup to the prince, in a fit of drunken hospitality. Sleeping, tired of robbery, a Cossack of heroic build.
The morning wind filled the sail, the sunrise painted the river and air in bluish-pink tones. Tranquil nature at this early time. But the whole picture is filled with thick and dark anxiety ...
The chieftain is rich in clothing, he reclines on an expensive carpet, behind his faithful comrades-in-arms. What is so worrying about the leader? Having propped his head with his fist, frowning, he listens to the song of the kobzar. A heavy look to nowhere, a tense pose of the hero make the viewer feel inner anxiety.
Compositionally, Razin is opposed to the Persian prince. The hero sees in his captive his own future. The prince, realizing his fate, is doomed-passive. Like the chieftain, he does not meet his gaze with anyone. An abyss shares it with the chieftain: different origin, different attitude to life (a noble Persian submitted to fate, the chieftain is going to argue with her).
The author surrounded the Cossack rook with a soothing and beautiful landscape. Gentle, practical watercolor tones of the sky, water, coastline, create a light, delicate morning atmosphere. In the images of the Cossacks there is nothing robber. Before the viewer are strong, but tired of their bitter share of people.
Robber trophies are scattered around the boat, expensive carpets are wet in the water. The author seems to be trying to say that the Cossacks have no respect for wealth. Will is their only goal. The tragedy is that they do not know what the true will is. So the chieftain, who does not have a specific goal, was thinking about the future. There is nothing rosy in these thoughts.
A few more strokes of the oars and a rook disappear behind the horizon. Where, on which coast does the ataman land, who will be his next victim? Unknown One thing is clear - he will not turn off his path, only a force many times superior to the strength of his army will stop this path, the search for truth, the pursuit of true will.
A formidable warning is the picture: popular anger, strong, cruel, uncontrollable, can sweep everyone and everything in its path.