Andrei Ryabushkin especially loved Slavic mythology. He traveled a lot and studied the epics of the Russian people and sought to draw reliably some characters. In 1895, he painted a portrait of a fictional character - Mikulu Selyaninovich.
In the epics of the Novgorod cycle, a lot of stories were mentioned with the participation of this famous hero, who loved to plow the land. By drawing it, the author wanted to convey the simplicity of the people and their unlimited power.
According to folklore stories, he has two daughters and an immense love for Russian land. Ryabushkin dressed the hero in a completely simple shirt and trousers for harem pants. Drawing this stately man, the artist sought to convey the tranquility of the whole people.
It is known that burdens have always been enough, but not one enemy managed to break the strength of mind.
Mikula on the canvas looks into the distance, as if examining the expanses and making sure that the enemy does not flee from the distant hills. In the background, a horse grazes peacefully, resting from arable land. This is proof that the Russian people live only by their labor. By cultivating the fields, they grow grain and get fragrant bread. So the hero is not afraid of this work, he boldly harnesses his war horse and plows the black earth. Cultivating it, he feels peace. This is clearly visible on his broad face.
A light breeze plays in the hero’s hair, on the top of his head is a hat that is familiar to all men of that time. The shirt reveals his powerful ribcage a bit, and hand embroidery flaunts on the hem. Hands are strong, capable of raising the exorbitant earthly thrust.
Ryabushkin Andrey portrayed a true epic hero, this sketch became the cover for a book about famous Russian heroes. The people liked this image, which was so close to an ordinary working peasant. It looked like folk heroes who were no different from ordinary villagers.
Michelangelo Buonarroti Sculptures