Cossacks write a letter to the Turkish Sultan - Ilya Efimovich Repin. 203x358
The plot of this masterpiece of the great Russian artist is well known: Zaporizhzhya Cossacks write an answer to the proposal of the Turkish sultan to go over to the side of the Ottoman Empire. The text of this answer, full of the most refined insults to the lord of the brilliant Porta, has also been preserved. Before us is a sort of brain storm - the process of writing an answer to the Sultan.
The composition of the picture is a clearly defined center around which the author builds several circles filled with different semantic content.
In the center is a scribe. Almost the only one of those depicted owning a letter. Judging by the clothes, this is a seminarist from the Cossacks who undertook to set forth the answer of the Cossacks on paper. The creation of this letter clearly gives him pleasure. The scribe expresses his joy quite restrainedly, as befits a scientist to a man.
Consider the inner circle. A cossack with a pipe in his hands loomed over the clerk's figure. Apparently, this is one of the main inspirers of the Cossacks. He is depicted at the moment of pondering the next exquisite swear word to Mohammed. Another second and a new line of the message will be invented ... Further clockwise - a Cossack choked with laughter, followed by another Cossack who almost falls out of laughter, then a half-naked Cossack who relishes relishing every word of the letter, a couple of loudly laughing warriors, a Cossack without the shadows of a smile on his face, a very young Cossack, who takes part in the process of writing an answer with pleasure.
Two figures are especially noticeable in the outer circle: a laughing Cossack in a red zhupan and a gloomy Cossack with a bandage on his head. They are as if opposed to each other. Upon careful consideration, not all Cossacks succumbed to joy and fun. Here and there, anxious, serious, frightened faces are depicted. The Zaporozhets with a bandage seemed to imagine the upcoming battles with the Turks, the impending losses ... Next to the laughing laughing big man in a red zhupan, the artist depicted a skeptical Cossack in a yellow headdress. In his eyes, condemnation and anxiety ... The Cossack in orange is skeptical, peering out from under the arm of a laughing Cossack in the center. However, anxiety and skepticism are a clear minority here. The atmosphere of the picture was laughter, daring, confidence, courage - the main qualities of the soldiers of the Zaporizhzhya Cossacks.