The painting depicts a full-length large woman in a rich robe. The interior makes it possible to present the device of a rich cell for a noble person: icons on the walls, a tablecloth on the table. A girl in monastic clothes sitting behind the princess’s back looks timidly at her from under her brows.
Sophia herself is the embodiment of independence and rage. Hands folded on her chest, proud posture, loose hair make it possible to compare her image with the ascetic unshakable in her faith. Her features are stern, her eyes are fixed on the viewer, in the restrained facial expressions one can feel the suffering from the insult and mental confusion, in the pose – the impermanence of royal dignity.
Through the bars on the window, the silhouette of the hanged archer is visible – a silent reproach to the princess, because of which people are dying.
The Russian composer, a contemporary of Repin, M. Mussorgsky gave a devastating assessment of the painting “Princess Sophia”. Working on his opera “Khovanshchina”, he delved deeply into the atmosphere of the 17th century, so that he could form his own judgment about the picture.
He wrote: “My dream called me to a small plump woman who had experienced life more than once … but I saw … a woman, angry, but not embittered, a huge woman, but not small, all blurred to the point that with her size … the viewer was little space. “
Year of painting: 1879.
Dimensions of the painting: 202 x 145 cm.
Writing technique: oil.
Genre: historical painting.
Gallery: State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia.