The capture of snow town

Vasily Surikov • Painting, 1891, 156×282 cm
About the artwork
Art form: Painting
Subject and objects: Genre scene
Style of art: Realism
Technique: Oil
Materials: Canvas
Date of creation: 1891
Size: 156×282 cm
Artwork in selections: 40 selections

Description of the artwork «The capture of snow town»

The creation of this work was preceded by a difficult period in life Vasily Ivanovich Surikovin 1888 his wife died. It was a heavy blow for an artisthe almost gave up painting. Salvation was leaving for Siberia, the homeland of Surikov. There he began to work productively, gradually getting rid of boredom. At this time, and he was born his famous painting "the Capture of snow town".

On the painting Surikov captures the old folk game gorodki. The essence of the game consisted of the following: built a wall of snow and to the strength of poured water. The participants were divided into two teams and placed on opposite sides of the wall. One team had to capture the fortress, and the other to protect. Brave men on horseback tried to break through the snowy barrier, and the defenders, armed with twigs, was scared the horse, thus not allowing the rider to besiege the fortress.
In the picture we see the climax when the player is on horseback, having overcome all obstacles, break into the castle and destroys it.

Compositionally, the painting is divided into three parts. The Central figure is a rider on horseback. In the left and right sides we see the spectators, with interest watching the game. Reigns excitement and General merriment: both the players and the audience fully involved in the process. The canvas is dominated by a clean, bright tone that creates an atmosphere of celebration and fun.
The master paid special attention to detail. Carefully prescribed items of clothing, you can even examine the material and texture of fabric. Realistically depicted and the landscape. With thoroughness Surikov writes snow: we see the traces of the sleds and snowballs flying away from the snow FORTS.

The artist wanted as realistic as possible to convey all the details of the game. To do this, Surikov friends even arranged for a similar fun, in which the artist has made many pencil sketches.

It is no coincidence that Surikov was chosen as the subject of the painting is the scene from the lives of ordinary people: Surikov was one of the Wanderers, for which the image of the life of ordinary peasants was one of the main tasks. The people in the picture is a typical Siberians, the countrymen of the artist.
For the first time the painting was shown in 1891 at the XIX exhibition of the Wanderers. After the exhibition at the Surikov barrage of negativity. Critics remained dissatisfied with the choice of the plot, calling it "a poor and laughable". The audience, accustomed to the salon and academic art, also did not appreciate the painting. But the artist was confident in his innocence, arguing that folklore is something that need to turn and what to look for inspiration.

Author: Maria Davydova