Vasily Surikov - Taking of the Snow Fortress
A truly universal scope is present in the paintings which Vasily Surikov (1848—1916) devoted to episodes from Russian history. In the clash of major historical figures, invariable with the participation of the people, the crowd, we sense the fateful reverberation of great events of the past. Surikov’s large historical canvases are divided between the Tretyakov Gallery and the Russian Museum. One of the artist’s brightest works — The Taking of the Snow Fortress (Взятие снежного городка, 1891) — is in St Petersburg. Russian art can hardly have produced a work which depicts with greater power the healthy spirit of the people, unrestrained merrymaking, the ancient tradition of a national game. The same is true of the wealth of colour in the seemingly white snow and of the unique, individual character of each participant in this old Siberian pastime.