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Vasnetsov Viktor Mikhailovich (1848 — 1926)  Bogatyrs, 1898  Oil on canvas  295,3 x446 cm  The State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia
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Title: Bogatyrs

Vasnetsov Viktor Mikhailovich (1848 — 1926)
Bogatyrs, 1898
Oil on canvas
295,3 x446 cm
The State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia

«Bogatyrs» - the picture of Victor Vasnetsov. Another common name of the painting - «Three heroes». The original author's name was longer - «Bogatyrs Ilya Muromets, Dobrynya N. Alyosha Popovich and take notice ... in the field, the enemy is not there, do not offend anyone there ?» Vasnetsov worked on the picture is almost twenty years. In April 1898 it was finished, and bought M. Tretyakov for his gallery.The bogatyr (from baghatur, an old Altaic term for a warrior, a military commander, or an epic hero) or vityaz (Russian: âèòÿçü, a valiant warrior) was a medieval heroic warrior of Kievan Rus', akin to Western European knight errant.

An early usage of the word bogatyr was recorded in Sernitskiy's book "Descriptio veteris et novae Poloniae cum divisione ejusdem veteri et nova," printed in 1585 in an unknown location, in which he says, "Rossi… de heroibus suis, quos Bohatiros id est semideos vocant, aliis persuadere conantur."

Bylinas prominently feature stories about these heroes, as do several chronicles. Some of bogatyrs are presumed to be historical figures, while others, like giant Sviatogor, are purely fictional and possibly descend from Slavic pagan mythology.

The most famous vityazs' were the trio of Alyosha Popovich, Dobrynya Nikitich and Ilya Muromets, who served prince Vladimir I of Kiev. Each of them tend to be known for a certain character trait: Alyosha Popovich for his wits, Dobrynya Nikitich for his courage, and Ilya Muromets for his physical and spiritual power and integrity, and for his dedication to the protection of his homeland and people.
The painting depicts three heroes - Ilya Muromets, Dobrynya N., Alyosha Popovich (main heroes of Russian bylinas). Middle to âîðîíîì horse Il'ya Muromets, looking away from the palm of one hand bogatyr spear in the other club bulatnaya. On the left side on a white horse Dobrynya N., remove the sword from the sheath. right on horseback color golden Alyosha Popovich, holds a bow with arrows. In comparison with his mighty heroes, and he was thin built, look archly, there will not be able to take power, will take place with acumen. Alyosha Popovich is not only a warrior - he harps on the side. He plays in a short minute to them, pleasing heroes carol. The three heroes are on the broad plain of rolling low hills, in the midst of the yellow grass and small trees of rare. The sky is overcast and disturbing.
Alyosha Popovich (Russian: Àë¸́øà Ïîïî́âè÷, literally Alexey, son of the priest), alongside Dobrynya Nikitich and Ilya Muromets, is a bogatyr (i.e., a medieval knight-errant). He is the youngest of the 3 main bogatyrs of Kiev Rus.

The three of them are represented together at Vasnetsov's famous painting Bogatyrs.

In Byliny (oral stories) he is described as a crafty priest's son who wins by tricking and outsmarting his foes. He is known for his agility, slyness, and craftiness. Alyosha Popovich is fun-loving, sometimes being depicted as a "mocker of women," and may occasionally be a liar and a cheat. He defeated the dragon Tugarin Zmeyevich by trickery. In later versions the dragon was transformed into the figure of a Mongol Khan.In this bylina Alyosha Popovich and his servant, Yekim, set out for Kiev to meet Prince Vladimir. When they arrive at Kiev, Prince Vladimir is having a feast. Prince Vladimir offers Alyosha Popovich to sit next to him, but Alyosha Popovich refuses and decides to take the lowest place in the social hierarchy by sitting next to the stove. At the feast, the monster Tugarin insults the Prince by sitting between Vladimir and his wife. Tugarin also does not pray to God and gorges himself at the feast. Alyosha Popovich, who is disgusted with the way Tugarin is acting, insults the creature with stories about the deaths of a dog and a cow. Tugarin is provoked by these stories and throws a dagger at Alyosha Popovich. Then, Alyosha Popovich accepts Tugarin's challenge to fight. The battle takes place in an open field, and when Alyosha Popovich arrives, Tugarin is already flying in the sky on his wings made of paper. Alyosha Popovich prays for rain, and Tugarin falls to the ground because his paper wings get wet. Finally, Alyosha Popovich knocks Tugarin's head off with his staff, sticks it on a spear, cuts his body into small pieces, and presents it to Prince Vladimir's court.Dobrynya Nikitich (Russian: Äîáðû́íÿ Íèêè́òè÷) is a bogatyr medieval Knight of Kiev Rus. He is one of the three figures represented together in Viktor Vasnetsov's famous painting Bogatyrs, alongside Alyosha Popovich and Ilya Muromets.

Dobrynya is depicted in Byliny (oral tradition) as a dragonslayer (killing the dragon Gorynich) who wins by bravery. He seems to be a representative of the noble class of warriors. Dobrynya is a musician, chess player, archer, and wrestler. He is known for his special knowledge and courtesy.

Historians believe that this personage evolved from the real Slavic warlord Dobrynya, who led the armies of Svyatoslav the Great and tutored his son Vladimir the Fair Sun.The bylina begins with Dobrynya's mother telling the hero not to go to the Saracen Mountains, not to trample baby dragons, not to rescue Russian captives, and not to bathe in the Puchai River. Dobrynya disobeys his mother and does all of these things.When he is bathing in the Puchai River, the dragon appears. Dobrynya has nothing to defend himself, and thinks he is going to die. Dobrynya then discovers "a hat of the Greek land" and uses it to defeat the dragon.

The dragon pleas for Dobrynya not to kill him and the two make a nonaggression pact. Once the pact is made, the dragon flies away and captures the niece of Prince Volodymir, Zabava Potyatichna.

When Dobrynya arrives at Kiev, Prince Vladimir tells Dobrynya to rescue his niece. Dobrynya makes it to the Saracen Mountains with the help of a magic whip given to him by his mother, and begins to fight the dragon.

Dobrynya fought the dragon for three days. On the third day of the bloody battle, Dobrynya feels like giving up and riding away, but a voice from heaven tells him to stay and fight for three more hours. After the three hours Dobrynya kills the dragon.

When he killed the dragon, the blood did not soak into the ground, and Dobrynya and his horse were stuck in the blood for three days. A voice from heaven told the hero to stick his spear into the ground and say an incantation. The blood was then swallowed by the earth and Dobrynya rescued Zabava.

Since Dobrynya is a peasant, he cannot marry Zabava and gives her to Alyosha Popovich. Dobrynya encounters a polyanitsa, Nastasia, and marries her instead.Ilya Muromets (Russian: Èëüÿ́ Ìó́ðîìåö, literally, "Elijah of Murom") is a Kievan Rus' mythical hero. He is celebrated in numerous byliny (folk epic poems). Along with Dobrynya Nikitich and Alyosha Popovich he is regarded as the greatest of all the legendary bogatyrs (i.e., medieval knights-errant of Kievan Rus). (The three of them are represented together at Vasnetsov's famous painting Áîãàòûðè, as illustrated to the right.)According to legends, Ilya, the son of a farmer, was born in the village of Karacharovo, near Murom. He suffered serious illness in his youth and was unable to walk until the age of 33 (till then he was laid on a Russian Oven), when he was miraculously healed by two pilgrims. He was then given super-human strength by a dying knight, Svyatogor, and set out to liberate the city of Kiev from Idolishche to serve Prince Vladimir the Fair Sun (Vladimir Krasnoye Solnyshko). Along the way he single-handedly defended the city of Chernigov from invasion by the Tatars and was offered knighthood by the local ruler, but Ilya declined to stay. In the forests of Bryansk he then killed the forest-dwelling monster Nightingale the Robber (Solovei-Razboinik), who could murder travellers with his powerful whistle.

In Kiev, Ilya was made chief bogatyr by Prince Vladimir and he defended Rus' from numerous attacks by the steppe people, including Kalin, the (mythical) tsar of Golden Horde. Generous and simple-minded but also temperamental, Ilya once went on a rampage and destroyed all the church steeples in Kiev after Prince Vladimir had failed to invite him to a celebration. He was soon appeased when Vladimir sent for him.

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Goback 2 / 56 Forward
Vasnetsov Viktor Mikhailovich (1848 — 1926)  A Knight at the Crossroads, 1882  Oil on canvas  167 x 308 cm  The State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, RussiaVasnetsov Viktor Mikhailovich (1848 — 1926)  Bogatyrs, 1898  Oil on canvas  295,3 x446 cm  The State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, RussiaVasnetsov Viktor Mikhailovich (1848 — 1926)  Sirin and Alkonost; The Birds of Joy and Sorrow, 1896  Oil on canvas  133x250 cm  The State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia
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