Art Kaleidoscope

Between art and craft

Fairy tale happiness by Vasnetsov

Fairy tale happiness by Vasnetsov. Ivan - Tsarevich on the Grey Wolf. 1889

Viktor Vasnetsov. Ivan – Tsarevich on the Grey Wolf. 1889

Fairy tale happiness by Vasnetsov. Almost every fairy tale hero expects reward similar to “Emelya” happiness – love of beautiful girl and wealth. But happiness has to be earned or won. Available hero is strong, and most importantly, kind. Not all the heroes are winners – only those who fight against evil. This path is not easy. Hurtling through a dark, scary forest the Gray Wolf, saving Ivan Tsarevich and Elena the Fair. Her golden hair waving on a wind. The speed with which the wolf carries them is enormous: even heavy sword of Ivan Tsarevich soared up into the air. Elena the Fair seems half asleep. Her patterned robe of blue silk, can not seem to warm her. But Prince tenderly holding her in his arms. Vasnetsov shows in a picture how passionate feelings in a cool, gloomy forest make a real miracle – on apple tree branch, unexpectedly here in the wild forest, bloom sweet as love in the hearts of fairytale characters, flowers.

Fairy tale happiness by Vasnetsov. Koschey - immortal. Illustration for the book 'Mary - Morevna'

Viktor Vasnetsov. Koschey – immortal. Illustration for the book ‘Mary – Morevna’

Angry man will never be happy. Like Koschey, he will languish and wither over his treasures, and immortality will turn his eternal fear of losing them.

Fairy tale happiness by Vasnetsov. Carpet - plane. 1880

Viktor Vasnetsov. Carpet – plane. 1880

But what happiness and peace emanates from the painting of Viktor Vasnetsov “Carpet – Plane”! In the sky, among the soft gentle clouds fly on the carpet – plane Ivan Tsarevich and Elena the Fair. The carpet – plane soars in the sky turning pink over the river. Milk fog comes down the river – the bank of which gets real milk color. The fog as if continues the river in a fantastic heavenly kingdom.

Fairy tale happiness by Vasnetsov. Carpet - plane. 1926

Viktor Vasnetsov. Carpet – plane. 1926

Flying on the carpet – plane in the picture Vasnetsov – the embodiment of the eternal human dream of happiness and peace at the end of a long journey, after adventures and trials.

Fairy tale happiness by Vasnetsov. Sivka - burka. 1926

Viktor Vasnetsov. Sivka – burka. 1926

In the painting by Vasnetsov “Sivka – Burka” sounds provocative slogan: “You want to be happy – do not be afraid, tempt fate!” Ivan – fool dreamed to marry the daughter of the Tsar. What a nonsense! Before that, he was sitting on the stove unkempt. And suddenly – “clame into the right ear of Sivka- Burka, got dressed, jumped out of the left ear – handsome and well dressed Ivan.” People near the towers marveled at him: what a handsome man. Reared his horse and golden-hair horse jumped up to the window of the Princess. Ivan will have time to kiss her, and there is no doubt – the flight of a lucky fellow will end in the wedding.

V. Harchev. By magic. The painting on the box

V. Harchev. By magic. The painting on the box

Fairy tale happiness by Vasnetsov. Three princesses of the Underworld, 1884

Viktor Vasnetsov. Three princesses of the Underworld, 1884

The outfit of the three princesses of the Underworld symbolises the richness of mineral resources Russia is famous for – gold (left princess), precious stones (middle), and coal (right). Clothing and headgear of one of the princesses seems cast in gold. Such tissue during ancient Rus was called “Aksamit.” It seems that it is bewitched, can stand by itself and not fall. And the secret here is not a fairy-tale: the basis of Aksamit were gold and silver threads, similar to a thin wire. The dress of this fabric could weigh a few pounds and “hold” shape. Precious crown for the second beauty is adorned with gems, like the rest of her outfit.

Fairy tale happiness by Vasnetsov. Three princesses of the Underworld. 1884

Viktor Vasnetsov. Three princesses of the Underworld. 1884

Fairy tale happiness by Vasnetsov. Painting Three princess of the Underworld. 1884 detail

Painting Three princess of the Underworld. 1884 detail

And next to them is a modest youngest princess. She guards the dungeon of treasures. No, it’s not jewelry. They gleam in the foreground of the picture. Famous artists’ patron Savva Mamontov commissioned Vasnetsov for painting his office when supervised the construction of the Donetsk railway, by which these treasures were brought.

Fairy tale happiness by Vasnetsov. Alenushka. 1881

Viktor Vasnetsov Alenushka. 1881

Stories for fabulous paintings gave to the artists life itself. If we look at the famous painting “Alenushka” with fresh eyes, we can admit that the girl bears little resemblance to a fabulous character. Once Vasnetsov met a barefoot village girl in Abramtsevo, she struck him not by her beauty, but the expression “anguish, loneliness and sadness, purely Russian” on the face. Depicting her in the picture, he gave her some secret attraction. Alenushka has already wept all her sorrow, sharing it with trembling aspen and sharp reeds.

From the book “Русские художники в сказке”