The famous Russian artist Sergei Ivanov in the history of painting is listed as a great master of paintings on the life of ordinary people. His style is social plot painting. The tragedy of immigrants, compassionate attention to prisoners, the first Russian revolution - to study from the works of the painter, you can study the milestones of history. In particular, the great interest of art critics and art lovers was always aroused by a small canvas, which remained anonymous for a long time, and only in Soviet times was called the “Execution”.
The picture depicts a tragic moment in Russian history: the events of the 1905 revolution, when a wave of peaceful demonstrations swept through the capital of the empire.
The protesters were blocked by soldiers. The military structure is not clearly drawn. After the first salvo, the first two victims of the execution, a man and a woman, remained lying on the square flooded with bright light. In a panic, a small dog is trying to hide, run away from fire and noise. The painter depicted the moment of the second salvo - white flashes point to him in front of barely noticeable figures of soldiers.
In the background, the tragedy of what is happening silently watching the stone facades of buildings.
The picture is interesting to a wide circle of viewers not only from the point of view of its historical value (the author took a direct part in the events of December 1905), but also the presence of a second meaning in it.
If you change the angle of view and carefully consider the nearest male figure, buried in the ground, then magically in its place is found ... the man’s head with a small beard, a wedge, a long nose and covered eyes. The artist did not decipher his idea, did not leave either written or oral explanations for such a phenomenon.
All assumptions about the "prototype" of the mysterious head were expressed by expert researchers of the work of Sergei Ivanov. In appearance, they found similarities with the main Moscow gendarmes - Trepov and Durnovo, hinted at the supposedly recognizable features of Emperor Nicholas II. But the versions remained only assumptions.
The second feature of the work is the lack of an author's name. The canvas was entitled after the victory of October, and was often used by the new government as evidence of the cruelty and arbitrary rule of the tsarist regime.
During his lifetime, the author did not display the picture to the general public - probably because of the author’s fears about possible political repressions by the authorities. For many years, the canvas is stored in the Presnya Memorial Museum, Moscow.
All in the past