The burning of the Protopope Avvakum - Grigory Grigoryevich Myasoedov. 67.5x103.5
A terrible execution depicted by the artist. Pustozersk (the place of execution) is a small northern town. Residents of all classes gathered to see the execution.
Tongues of flame approach the figures of the doomed. Heavy yellowish smoke rises. Two are tied to the pillars. Protopop Avvakum - the ideologist of schism, the defender of the old faith - a gray-haired old man, exhausted to the extreme, but not broken, full of frantic desire to uphold the true faith. He peers into the crowd, wanting every witness to his death to look into his eyes before dying.
In the crowd stands out a boyar in a gold-embroidered fur coat, a clerk holding a royal decree, read out shortly before the execution, and a priest reading a retreat. All three represent power in the picture. Defenders of power - archers, standing out in red caftans - protect the fire from the pressure of the crowd.
The people gathered for execution are diverse. Those who sympathize with Habakkuk are immediately visible. But there are very few of them. The woman held out her hands to the condemned, the man raised his hand in double-edged, a symbol of the Old Believers. But most of those present are indifferent.
The spear in the hands of the archer, the figures of the unfortunates at the stake, the church on the background of execution, a crowd of onlookers - all these details give rise to associations with the crucifixion of Christ on Calvary. The author is as if trying to say that the true size of the captured tragedy will become clear much later. It is known that it was after the execution of Habakkuk that the mass resettlement of schismatic Old Believers outside of Russia began.