Vasily Ivanovich Surikov. "The Conquest of Siberia by Ermak." Oil on Canvas, size - 599x285 cm. Russian Museum
"Let's take, kovina, kaitin Suikova" Rest in Eymakom Sibi ". On the left - Cossacks, Spyava - Tatai. The Cossack samopaly - bang-bang-bang are bursting. Tatian shooters whistle - Whack, Whack, Whack. Everything got drunk, everything is in motion! Just a minute - yaaaa! Sibius is reposed! ”
(Art critic in the play by Arkady Raikin)
(Art critic in the play by Arkady Raikin)
Art and история. We continue the series of articles devoted to the theme of historicism. weapons and armor on the canvases of the great masters. The paintings here were considered the most diverse, and only a few of them in this regard were both historical and realistic, and ... pathos! In others, there were too many “but I see it”, in others, the epic just went through the roof, thirdly, all spoiled one or two details. And here a logical question arises, is there, well, let's say, such a picture in which all this is in moderation and which is harmonious just by the merging of historicism, knowledge of the specifics of clothing and weapons, and epic? That is, it should be a talentedly painted picture. Moreover, this should be just a battle canvas, whose task is to depict the battle of our ancestors for their vital interests. And it should be noted, there is such a picture. And she is well known to all. Moreover, it is so famous that it got into the article on “IN” («» “How Ermak conquered Siberia”, December 23, 2010), and in the play by Arkady Raikin from Soviet times.
Surikov came up with the idea to paint this picture in 1889, but he began to work on the idea with the idea and worked directly on it only in 1891. No wonder they say that any idea should ripen. Moreover, what is interesting, by his own admission, he did not read the annals, and he nevertheless developed a vision of the picture. However, this is not surprising. But how else to show the confrontation of two forces and the victory of one of them, if not through their clash and the domination of one by the other through the image of the characters of one "power" larger than the characters of the other? “Ours” is located at Surikov’s left, because the features of our artistic perception are such that our eyes glide on the canvas from left to right. And they are larger than the opponents of the Cossacks - “Kuchumovites”.
The artist began work on the painting in 1891, and completed in 1895. And it immediately became a landmark event of the 23rd exhibition of the Association of Wanderers, it was bought by Emperor Nicholas II, and then in 1897 transferred it to the Russian Museum, where it is today.
The picture shows us the climax of the Siberian campaign of Yermak Timofeevich (1581-1585) - the battle of 1582 between the Cossacks of Yermak and the army of the Siberian Khan Kuchum. In one of her descriptions, I came across a wonderful phrase: "In the interpretation of the artist, this event is presented as a national feat, the artist emphasizes the inextricable connection of Russian soldiers with their leader." Well, this is all a tribute to socialist realism, because everything is the same, if you think about it, you can describe it in a completely different way: we face a clash of barbarism and civilization. More technically and socially developed people subjugate the more backward, which have become a brake on the path of progress. Who are these people on the left? Outlawed people, typical conquistadors who came here “for zipuns”. Who is their leader? A conquistador like Cortes or Pizarro? There is a difference? There is! Our people needed furs, that is, yasak, the cessation of predatory raids, that is, the submission of the aborigines to the "white king", and there - live as you like, the souls of the Siberians have not yet been discussed. In addition to the thirst for gold, the Spaniards also had a concern for the souls of the Indians in their hearts. Baptize, believe, and live there as you want ... In any case, the campaigns of both conquistadors and Cossacks were beneficial both to the heads of their states and to the states themselves: a lot of new zemlyats, gold reserves and “fur currency” are always good. So we will not talk about the "national character" and "national feat." Otherwise, every lucky “godfather” with us will be considered a national hero ... But this does not detract from the essence of the picture and its epic, as well as the personality of Yermak himself. This is who you need to be, what charisma to possess, in order to unite all these "very specific morals of people" and lead you to unknown lands for battle and death!
Every detail of the picture was worked out by the artist in sketches! Here is the boat with the Cossacks! The butt of the shooter on the right is terrible, of course, but it’s just a “training”
And the artist understands this and puts Ermak in the center of the picture, and even portrays it in profile, with his hand pointing forward. Both himself and his whole army are surrounded by banners with the face of the Savior and the equestrian figure of St. George. The banners fluttering, most likely, both on the Kulikovo field and on the Ugra River ... Well, now they are fluttering here, that is, our ancestors reached their "Berlin"!
And masterfully shown the army of Kuchum. There are only those there: Tatars and Evenks, with Ostyaks, warriors and shamans, but all have bows and arrows, although one has a crossbow. But it is obvious that all this mass cannot resist the Cossacks ... Not without reason, however, on a different occasion, it was very correctly said that “no stamina, no physical strength, no herdness and solidarity of mass struggle can give an advantage in the era of guns and guns! "
Study for the painting - a banner from the arsenal of the Moscow Kremlin
Obviously, the artist was primarily attracted to the images of people. Yes, this, in fact, was then a tradition - to draw everyone from life. It wouldn’t have been overlaid with photographs, collected other people's paintings with the right people ... But no: write, write like that! And the artist goes to the Ob, as well as Tobolsk, and in the summer of 1891 he already draws sketches from Evenki and Ostyaks in the Turukhansk Territory. In a letter to his brother, he reports that he chose the dimensions of the canvas: “8 arshins and 4”, that is, it is approximately 5,6 × 2,8 meters. And then again trips ... In 1892 he went to the Don to paint portraits of Cossacks. And again Siberia, the Minusinsk Territory, the gold mines where he found “his Ermak,” painted images of Tatars, and in the Minusinsk Museum from the ethnographic collection he made sketches of the natives' clothes embroidered with beads and leather patterns. Here he also wrote the sketch “On the River”, on which he depicted an arrow standing in the water.
In 1893, Surikov arrived in the village of Razdorskaya to write studies from local Cossacks, whose names have survived to this day. It was Arseny Kovalev, Anton Tuzov, Makar Agarkov, and then their faces got into the picture. Moreover, it was Arseny Ivanovich Kovalev who just became the prototype of the final image of Ermak, and Makar Agarkov served as the prototype of Yesula Ivan Ring. Here, on the Don, he sketched a large Cossack boat, which also appeared in the picture. And in the same year he again went to the north of Siberia: now to draw portraits of the Ostyaks. In 1894, Surikov again visits Tobolsk and swims along the Irtysh. Here, in general, from whom our artists need to learn to write historical paintings. Ostyaks are needed, or, there, Yakuts - you take and go to Siberia to write Ostyaks, Chukchi or Yakuts. I decided to write my vision of Princess Razin's drowning - you are sailing along the Volga and Don, looking for traits, but behind the arrowheads and daggers of the Scythians - welcome to the Golden Pantry of the Hermitage and to the Minusinsk depression. And look, and "soak in the spirit" of this place. Here a lot of money is needed, but Surikov just had it. I did not live in poverty, therefore I traveled everywhere. Indeed, for only “Boyar Morozova” he received 25 thousand rubles. Given that the general at the beginning of the twentieth century was paid 770 rubles, and the lieutenant general received 500!
Due to the size of the painting that Surikov painted at home, he even had to change the Moscow apartment, which he moved to, having returned from Krasnoyarsk in the autumn of 1890, to a larger one. In December 1892, Surikov took a break in the work on the canvas, as he was preparing the painting “Healing the Blindborn” for the exhibition. However, at the beginning of 1894 he again set about "his Ermak." And at first the color scheme of the picture was brighter. But then Surikov chose for her the same gloomy flavor in which we all now know her. For a long time, Ermak “wandered” on the canvas, then “hid” behind other Cossacks, then, in later versions, on the contrary, was completely separated from his army, and only as a result the artist found the most suitable place for him.
Etude "Shooter". And look how carefully all the details are spelled out, although the strokes themselves are somewhat rude. And the mirror, and the helmet, and the patterned handbag on the belt - everything is very realistic!
The canvas “The Conquest of Siberia by Ermak Timofeevich” was completed by Surikov in 1895, and in March of the same year, the Council of the Academy of Arts awarded him the title of academician. The canvas was bought by the Emperor for 40 thousand rubles - the largest amount that was ever given for a painting by a Russian artist. Already in April 1895, a royal decree was signed on the establishment of the Russian Museum of Emperor Alexander III, and this painting was also transferred here. To Tretyakov (to whom Surikov originally promised this canvas) he all the same in 1895 presented a copy of the painting of smaller sizes (103 × 59 cm).
Cossack with a gun. And here it is: the saber is written historically true. But the gun has been modernized for two hundred years, no less
It is interesting that V. Soloukhin wrote about this painting in 1966, or rather, wrote what the museum guides spoke about it at different times. At first - that Surikov wanted to show the people. People, people and people. Around the people. Ermak is not allocated, surrounded by the people, is in the center of the people. But fifteen years before, in his words, it was said differently: “Ermak is located in the center of the composition, which emphasizes his role as leader, chieftain, commander. He stands under the banner, under the Holy Savior, not made by hands, and under George the Victorious. One feels how his will is cementing the attacking army. All the soldiers rallied around him and are ready to lay down their heads, but not to betray their chieftain. ” (V. Soloukhin. Letters from the Russian Museum, 1966) Well, like this: to any time, its own songs and its own view of things. Some more time will pass, and new guides (perhaps it will be a robot with a cute female voice) will say that we have before us the image of a typical colonial robbery and the intolerant attitude of a more developed nation to another! God forbid, of course, but who knows what could be ...
And here the gun lock is written out just fine, so that we can even determine its type. Today, such castles are called the English term "saphan." It is known that the construction of the shankhan was known to Russian gunsmiths, and based on the development of foreign masters, they created on its basis a "self-made shotgun", or "samopal". The weapon was not too heavy, which allowed to shoot, just resting such a self-propelled gun on the shoulder
It is known that shock castles of this type already existed in 1544, since shakhkhanes were already used at that time. True, at that time they had not yet replaced wheel locks and wicks. At the beginning of the XVII century they were written about as the most convenient castles for hunting rifles, because, they say, they are always ready to shoot and do not give out the shooter with the smell of smoke. But on the battlefield, a wick lock is still better, since it is ... more reliable
Thick clothes made of skins, perhaps, gave the natives at least some protection from knives. But not from bullets! In addition, at that time bullets in Russia were not so much poured as they were chopped - a rod was cast from lead and cylinders were chopped with an ax on a log. Round bullets were used mainly on the hunt, but in the battle they charged three to five of these "cylinders"! That is why some characteristics of Russian firearms of that time are difficult to understand for a non-specialist. "Five cuts on a hryvnia" - how is it? And so that five bullets, chopped from a lead rod with a total weight of one hryvnia, will enter the barrel of such a gun, then 204,75 grams! Divide by five and get 40 grams - the weight of each "bullet". It is clear that it was impossible to hit the target precisely when fired by “this”, but when hit in the body, the wounds were simply terrifying. That is why, by the way, when shooting, A-shaped support posts for a very heavy barrel were often used, which we just see in the picture at Surikov. By the way, the arrow on the far left that uses this stand has a wicked gun, so ... Surikov is well done, that’s all that can be said.
Arkebuz wick-wheel, South Germany, Augsburg, 1585 Overall length: 1160 cm; barrel length: 700 cm. Treasury-shotgun. The barrel in the breech with a charging chamber with a hinged lid, which opens with a lever located at the shank. The lever is made in the form of a male head. The stigma of the Augsburg barrel foreman, who worked in 1585, is engraved at the shank. The chamber lid is fixed with a spring latch. A metal sleeve with a seed hole and a pin protruding from the bottom is inserted into the chamber. The pin provides a rigid fixation of the sleeve in the bore of the barrel so that the seed hole of the sleeve is always aligned with the seed hole in the barrel. That is, in fact, cartridge loading was used here. This is progress! Well, the presence of pre-charged shells could give significant time savings when loading. The combination arquebus lock combining a wick trigger (serpentine) with a trigger of a wheel lock. In the event of a failure of the complex wheel mechanism, a wick charge ignition method could be used. The powder shelf had an automatically closing lid. A key for the wheel mechanism factory was not required. Apparently, his cocking was carried out using a trigger. It is clear that this is a hunting, richly decorated weapon in the hands of the Cossacks could not be. But something simpler and simpler in the device ... Why not? (GIM, Moscow)
But this is a story. And today we have a different task - to consider how, correctly or incorrectly, Surikov depicted weapons and armor on his canvas, what’s from the museum and what ... from the evil one?
Swivel gun of the XVIII century. Total length with wingrad: 29 cm; length without vingrad: 25,5 cm; oarlock length: 26 cm; caliber: 21 mm. Such "guns" could well have stood on the ships of Ermak
Opponents of the Cossacks are armed with bows, spears, and only one has a crossbow, a metal shield and a helmet. Well, everything is exactly the same as Cortes and Pizarro
Of course, the main type of small arms castle for archers and Cossacks, even in 1585, should have been a wick castle. And the artist did the right thing that he didn’t arm any of the Cossacks with a pistol - at that time wheeled pistols were very expensive weapons and were not exported to Russia. That is, we can choose only from the wick castle and the castle-sankhan. Of course, I would try to show the shooters with wick guns, but ... here the artist did not sin too much against the truth, only 50 years of difference. After all, even militiamen and archers of 1612 fired precisely from wick guns, since it was then that more advanced models of guns with shock locks began to appear - trophies taken from Poles and Swedes.
In the picture at one of the Cossacks we see an ax. In the collection of the State Historical Museum there is an ax of the 16,5th century. Length: 95 cm (ax); blade width: 36 mm (blade); shaft length: XNUMX cm (hatchet). You can put logs on a log hut, you can chop heads for Basurmans!
Bakhterets first half of the XVI century. (GIM, Moscow)
XNUMXth century Bakhterets (GIM, Moscow)
Shishak. Western Europe, Holy Roman Empire of the German nation. The second half of the XVI century. Height: 29 cm; base diameter: 23x21,5 cm (State Historical Museum, Moscow) Surikov painted beautiful sabers to many Cossacks. And this is a historical fact. To have a saber in a rich scabbard was prestigious, like a golden chain around our neck in the past 90s among a certain category of the population. And sabers with such scabbards were delivered to Russia and produced locally. But deliveries were also very significant. Persia, Turkey - that's where sabers with a gold notch on blades and a sheath decorated with corals and turquoise came to us.
Saber of Prince Pozharsky. XVII century Length: 105 cm; blade length: 92 cm Steel, turquoise, glass, gold, silver, emeralds, chasing (State Historical Museum, Moscow)
Surikov Vasily Ivanovich (1848-1916)
And as a result: perhaps this picture of Surikov should be considered the same role model, which, in theory, should be equal to every battle painter who came up with the idea of writing paintings of similar sizes. And to write this way, although today you can get portraits of the right people, as well as images of weapons and armor, using the Internet!