Visit to the princess of the convent, Surikov, 1912

Description of the picture:

Visit to the princess of the convent. 1912. Oil on canvas. 144×202

   The fate of the Russian princes is tragic. There is no match for them among the suitors, either in Russia or in Europe. Their direct path to the monastery, with all its rich dowry. The royal daughters were accustomed to this idea from infancy. The author presents the viewer with a scene of visiting the princess of the monastery prepared for her.

   The salaries of the monastery images sparkle with heavy gold. The princess was surrounded by monastery natives. Someone bowed in a humble bow, someone with undisguised curiosity examines the royal daughter. Surova noblewoman-nanny behind the princess. She carefully monitors the strict observance of all the details of the ceremony. Among the nuns, the abbess is easily guessed. Mother Superior is outwardly calm and indifferent, however, in her one can also notice strong internal excitement. The head of the monastery is looking forward to the rich revenues of the institution, the dowry of the princess, in the treasury.

   Against the general background, the figure of the main character stands out sharply. A young girl, almost a child, pale, regal in appearance cannot hide from the viewer the humility of her fate. There are no emotions on the face of the princess, she is focused on prayer. What does the heroine of the Lord ask for? Nobody will ever know this. Those around do not care much about the feelings of a noble guest. Soon she will become an ordinary inhabitant of the monastery. And those who bow to her today in a servile bow will very soon lose all interest in her.

   Burning lamps under the images and candles create the atmosphere of the funeral rite. Very soon, the princess will die for the world of people, devoting herself to lifelong prayer and monastery work."

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