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Vasnetsov Viktor Mikhailovich (1848  1926)  Fight Dobrynya Nikitich with semiglavym serpent Gorynycha, 1913-1918  Museum of V.M. Vasnetsov, Moscow, Russia
Goback 21 / 56 Forward

Title: Fight Dobrynya Nikitich
Description:
Vasnetsov Viktor Mikhailovich (1848 1926)
Fight Dobrynya Nikitich with semiglavym serpent Gorynycha, 1913-1918
Museum of V.M. Vasnetsov, Moscow, Russia

Dobrynya Nikitich (Russian: ́ ́) 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 the real Slavic warlord Dobrynya, who led the armies of Svyatoslav the Great and tutored his son Vladimir the Fair Sun.
Dobrynya and the Dragon
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 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 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.


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Goback 21 / 56 Forward
Vasnetsov Viktor Mikhailovich (1848  1926)  Three queens of the underground kingdom, 1880-1881  Oil on canvas  152.7×165.2 cm  The State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, RussiaVasnetsov Viktor Mikhailovich (1848  1926)  Fight Dobrynya Nikitich with semiglavym serpent Gorynycha, 1913-1918  Museum of V.M. Vasnetsov, Moscow, RussiaVasnetsov Viktor Mikhailovich (1848  1926)  Alyonushka, 1881  Study for the painting
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