Description of the picture:
After the battle of Igor Svyatoslavich with the Polovtsy – Viktor Mikhailovich Vasnetsov. 1880. Oil on canvas. 205×390
The outcome of the terrible battle with the Polovtsy is the plot of Vasnetsov’s painting. The field is strewn with corpses. Fate did not spare either an experienced warrior or a young man whose life was interrupted by the Polovtsian arrow. They lie nearby, struck by wild Polovtsy.
The bodies of the Polovtsy and Rusich lie nearby. Death reconciled them, equalized, calmed, resolved all conflicts. Bloodied weapons wallow unnecessary, old. Dead hands still clutch red shields, meaningless now.
Vultures clutched over dead bodies in a fight. They continue what people have already finished. A pinkish moon rises over the field. It seems to reflect a bloody battlefield. Very soon the dead field will cover the night. The battle is over.
Nature in the picture is opposed to the plot. If people are death, then nature around is full of life.
Showing one of the most important events in Russian history, Vasnetsov praises the brave Russian soldiers, praises their feat. The artist depicted much more dead bodies of Russians. Indeed, the battle ended with the victory of the nomads. But Vasnetsov does not contribute to the plot of despondency or sorrow, he inspires optimism and pride in the past of his country, his people. Vasnetsov – a romantic, a poet in painting – managed to create a canvas that can educate the patriotic feelings of the viewer."