View Full Version : What is going on in this Russian painting?
05-31-2007, 02:33 PM
I was looking at Vasily Surikov's (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surikov) paintings on Wikipedia. First of all, let me say that I love these paintings - the detail, especially the facial expressions, is amazing. Taking of a Snow Fortress (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/34/SurikovSnowFortress.jpg) is one of my favorites. But I can't figure out what's going on here. As far as I can tell, the guy on a horse is knocking over a solitary structure made out of snow. I don't see any "snow fortress." (Actually, it looks kind of like a "fort" that kids would build for fun.) The people all around look like it's the happiest day of their lives. What's going on here? Does anyone know the history behind this painting?
05-31-2007, 02:42 PM
There's a brief explanation on the following site.
The artist painted the Siberian Cossacks playing. It was an old custom to construct a fortress of snow and ice with a great skill. The participants would divide into two opposing sides. One team defended the fortress with brooms and rattles; the other tried to break through on horseback. The victor would be treated to wine; the losers would be rolled in the snow.
05-31-2007, 02:57 PM
Thanks for the quick answer!!
The guys with the sticks - who I'm assuming were defending the fortress - look pretty happy considering that they've just lost and are going to be rolled in snow.
vBulletin® v3.7.3, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.