Apollinarii Vasnetsov - the younger brother of Viktor Vasnetsov, a master of historical painting, an art critic. He did not receive a systematic art education - there was no money in the family to train two artists.
Therefore, he first took private lessons from the exiled to Vyatka, his native village, the Polish painter Andriolli, then he moved to St. Petersburg and studied with his brother and many other artists, each of whom gave him something of his own.
“The Court of the Specific Prince” is one of his great works, requiring him to exert all his strength and activate all his talents. The painting depicts a period of about the 12th century, when Russia consisted of many separate principalities, in each of which the head was a prince.
On it is a princely courtyard, a tall tower, depicted with great knowledge of Russian architecture of those centuries, the domes of the temple in the distance, open gates.
In the courtyard, you can consider several separate scenes, loosely connected with each other. The main one, which immediately attracts the attention of the viewer, is the prince sitting on an armchair removed from the tower. His legs rest on a bear's skin - this is a symbol of power, and the border separating the prince and the earth, a boy stands with bread on a tray next to him, close people and guards crowded behind the back of the chair.
Before him are peasants from a village belonging to the prince. They brought tribute - meat, honey, ears of corn grown on princely land. Women, men, they are a little nervous.
On the porch of the terem, the children of the prince - rich clothes, curious faces. The boy hangs on the railing, the girl relaxedly leans on them.
A tribute is being taken apart - not those symbolic gifts that were brought to the throne of the prince, but what they brought on a cart.
At the gate you can see the silhouette of a horseman - a messenger who brought the news, and who knows, bad or good.
The picture breathes the spirit of antiquity, permeated by the knowledge of past centuries.
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