The conquest of Siberia Ermak


The artist is Surikov

The artist worked on a grandiose canvas for four years, making long trips in places related to the topic of the picture. Siberia with its harsh nature, with its bold free -loving people, keeping the custom of gray -haired antiquity – the region where the artist was born and spent his childhood – was especially close to him. He was proud of his ancestors, the Don Cossacks, who came here, according to legend, back in the 16th century along with Yermak.

The decisive battle of the squads of Yermak with the numerous hordes of Khan Kuchum in 1582 – this is the plot of the picture. Surikov interprets him as a folk feat, linking the campaign of Yermak with the national struggle, which the Russian people against the conquerors led in the past. The artist chose the climax, the height of the battle, which made it possible to reflect the historical event with the greatest dramatic tension. On the left is a Cossack avant -garde, which compositionally clearly stands out in the picture. It crashes into enemy rows with a powerful wedge. Surikov emphasizes the inextricable connection of the warriors with Ermak, showing them in a single combat impulse. In the variegation in the composition of the Kuchum army, pressed to the clay slope, signs of a beginning panic are visible. Surikov pays special attention to the development of images. Cossacks stand out in the many -sided crowd, with a sharply defined profile, with sparkling eyes. Courageous, restrained in their confidence, they represented an ideal historical type for the artist, which Siberia raised in him since childhood.

And. E. Repin wrote: " The impression of the picture is so unexpectedly powerful. …The viewer is stunned by this unprecedented. His imagination is shocked…".

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