The sleeping Princess

Viktor Vasnetsov • Painting, 1926, 214×452 cm
About the artwork
Art form: Painting
Subject and objects: Mythological scene, Literary scene
Style of art: Romanticism, Symbolism
Technique: Oil
Materials: Canvas
Date of creation: 1926
Size: 214×452 cm
Artwork in selections: 61 selections

Description of the artwork «The sleeping Princess»

"The sleeping Princess" goes to the cycle by Viktor Vasnetsov "Poem of seven fairy tales". According to the artist, it was planned such stories: "the Sleeping Princess", "Baba Yaga", "The frog Princess", "Princess Nesmeyana", "Kaschey The Immortal", "Sivka-burka"and a new version of "Carpet".

Can all these wonderful paintings to be considered as illustrations for fairy tales, and this view, first, has the right to life, and, secondly, is justified. Another thing that it reveals is not all that important in the "Poem of seven fairy tales." The plot of "the Sleeping Princess" is based on "the Tale of the dead Princess and the seven knights" Pushkin and "Sleeping beauty" by Charles Perrault.

As an illustration a picture of a gorgeous, decorative Vasnetsov skill in it beyond praise. What a bright, patterned ornaments! How carefully and delicately painted fabric dress, what a gorgeous color. What are the juicy types got here! Just a holiday for you. However, the plot is not joyful, but we know that sweetheart is a beautiful kiss from the evil magical sleep she wakes up, a dope fade. Approaching to the Palace of the forest is interpreted as a victory of life over nonexistence, female and male images over the sleeping Princess is predicting a happy reunion of lovers.
All this we "read" the picture as a comment to folk tales and was taken out of context of the artist's life and era.

Try to take them into account. Today, we are unable to say with certainty, what is meant by Vasnetsov, when he left to his "Poem of seven fairy tales", which is so furiously dancing to his "frog Princess" that madness in the face of Baba Yaga, and what do these illustrations, which are much more than illustrations. Tread on shaky ground of speculation. Vasnetsov sharply negatively reacted to the revolution. From exile, he refused because we could not imagine itself without Russia. The trouble is that his Russia was no more, but revolutionary it is not received ("non-Russians" were called). Vasnetsov went into the inner emigration – in tales. Today, many critics agree that the heroine of his "the poem of seven fairy tales" became Russia itself. She's drugged, enchanted, unconscious, and consciousness is sleeping on the bench. And all its inhabitants were asleep on benches, do not smell and do not know what is happening around them. Little girl sleeping on the Pigeon book – there is no one to ask her about what is happening, there is no one to hear the answers. On the right is a stick, wrapped in a black cloak and topped with a goat skull (in Christianity – a symbol of the devil) – and his eyes appear open. To the left is the sleeping guard, no one appeared to defend the Princess. Sleeping old men and good fellows, old woman and girl, sleeping children, birds and animals. Sleeping Rus. Dim in the parlor. And there, in the distance you see the colored towers. When you look at them it seems that life didn't stop there either. Would the dear good fellow, save the beauty?

If in this context to consider other paintings of this cycle, they also acquire additional meaning. Her beauty-Russia, whispering false Kashchei. And how dreary her in the image of Tsarevna-Nesmeyana, and how ugly all these dancing and grimacing around her clowns. On one of the sketches for this painting the girl depicted at the barred Windows. As she probably wants to break free!

What can we say about the comparative analysis "Flying carpet" 1880and 1926."Freely and widely to breathe happy heroes vasnetsovskoe tales among this vast space"– says Vasily Osokin, looking at the second "Carpet". Will we agree with him? Stills and landscape, and carpet. And lovers it does not seem so happy...

Whereupon we leave the realm of speculation. But what Vasnetsov, the revolution is not approved and work on the "Poem of seven fairy tales" with a special passion began after 1917 – quite the facts. As well as his amazing fairy-tale pattern, in which much is hidden.

Author: Alain Esaulova