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Karl Bryullov proceeded to create the canvas "The Siege of Pskov" after he received the position of head of the history class, but, by the Emperor’s Art Academy, he was awarded only the 2nd degree of the professorship. To assign 1 degree or a post of senior professor, Bryullov's task was to write a large picture on the topics given by the academy.
The artist took the real historical events of the Livonian War as the basis of the plot of his large canvas. When in 1581 the city of Pskov fell under siege of the soldiers of the Poles. These bloody events claimed many lives, both residents of Pskov and the attacker.
The picture shows the turning point of the battle, when the fortress wall explodes, and Pskov’s defender Shuisky and Abbot Tikhon prevent city soldiers from retreating from the battlefield. Over the heads of the procession of people images of icons develop, and in their hands they carry crosses and holy relics. Around them reigns destruction and fierce struggle. The earth is covered by wounded and dead people, their horses. Smoke draws in the blue sky, from the tower it goes in large black clubs. But, making his way through the battlefield, the procession is lit by bright sunlight, as a symbol that victory will be on the side of the world.
The beginning of work on the creation of this canvas was in 1839. But Karl Bryullov, in the opinion of many, could not put it into practice. The sketch of the picture seemed to the artist expressive and exciting. It is as if a certain divine army brings salvation to people, driving away enemies. But critics felt that the composition of the picture was not composed correctly, as a result of which not all the main actions are captured within the canvas.
Due to negative reviews and the sheer scale of the work, Bryullov finally lost interest in her. When the artist died, his painting was never written to the end.
Taras Shevchenko Katerina