The work “Princess Olga Meets the Body of Prince Igor” is not finished and is considered only a sketch. This picture was painted by Surikov Vasily Ivanovich on historical subjects. We see here a very famous and recognizable plot from the history of Ancient Russia. In the X century, Prince Igor went with his squad to collect tribute from the Drevlyans, but rebellious subjects rebelled and killed the prince. His lifeless body was brought to the widowed princess.
Knowledge of the history of this event helps to understand this work of Surikov. The princely army is depicted here. All men are armed. Each has a weapon hanging on a belt, and soldiers hold shields on their backs or in their hands. Some warriors are armed with spears and lances. Clothing on men is not entirely military: some are stripped to the waist, on some - only a light dress. Warriors on horseback are seen behind.
Before the soldiers settled women. This arrangement of figures is very symbolic. For a woman in those years, losing a husband is a great grief. The widow will not be able to feed herself or the children herself; she is doomed to a miserable existence. Therefore, all women are depicted on their knees, as if in a pose of worshipers. Sorrow and regret are visible on their faces. The artist also wanted to show us that the murder of the prince is not only a loss for Princess Olga. All women, figuratively speaking, are now left without a patron.
Despite the fact that the work is not finished and many figures and faces are not drawn, we understand the mood of people. The artist showed not only grief, but also a raging passion, a thirst for revenge, anger. The central figure of the canvas is Princess Olga. With one hand she holds her infant son. Her second hand is a call to start a bloody war.
In the foreground is the body of the murdered prince Igor. The man was laid on a patterned carpet and covered with a light sheet. The background is not drawn.
Composition By Picture Pines Sunlit Shishkin