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Surikov’s creativity was loved by us, first of all, with historical canvases. “The Morning of the Archery Execution”, “The Capture of Siberia by Ermak”, “Boyar Morozov” - these and other paintings by Surikov are known to everyone. However, his portrait work is of no less interest, especially the canvases on which the artist himself is depicted. For all the time he created about fifteen self-portraits, giving the opportunity to see Surikov in different years of his life.
"Self-portrait" (1913), which is now a valuable exhibit of the Tretyakov Gallery, is rightfully considered the pinnacle of the work of the late Surikov. Being written three years before his death, the canvas reflected a crisis for the artist when the ups of talent were far behind.
The picture is distinguished by compositional laconicism, characteristic of all portraits of this period. The special effect of the fusion of the depicted figure with the background proves that at the beginning of the century Surikov took into account the artistic principles of contemporary directions. Dark, muffled tones are designed to convey a sense of deep hidden and outwardly manifest drama. Such was the artist in life: laconic, closed to outsiders.
Meanwhile, we cannot say that the sealed figure expresses despair or sadness. On the contrary, a man who is full of inner strength is looking at us attentively, slightly sternly. And you can’t say that the artist (or the Cossack?) Is sixty-five years old, and he has experienced many hardships.
Perhaps for someone in this image the earlier works of Surikov can be seen, depicting folk heroes - Suvorov or Ermak. Such an interpretation would certainly appeal to the artist himself, who, as can be seen from the self-portrait, made in 1902, strongly emphasized that among his ancestors there were Cossacks, strong, daring people.
After the Battle of Igor Svyatoslavich With Polovtsi Picture