"The duel on the Kulikovo field": description of the picture by MI Avilova
Communicating with Mikhail Avilov's famous painting “The Battle of Kulikovo Field” provides an amazing opportunity to make an exciting journey to Ancient Russia and feel involved in the tragic and great events.
Brief description of Avilov's painting "Duel on the Kulikovo Field"
On the bank of the river there is a wide field, part of which is still covered with grass, and part of it is burned or trampled. The Russian army lined up along the blue ribbon of the river on the bank in full combat robes ready for battle. On the other hand, the picture as an antithesis - just as numerous and ready to rush into battle at any moment - is the Horde army. In the center in the foreground, two horse riders came together in a duel: the Russian knight on a black horse and the Tatar-Mongol warrior on a bay horse. They are depicted at the moment when they are knocking each other off with heated spears. Above the warriors fighting and frozen in combat readiness, the sky swirls in clouds: bright blue from the Horde side, yellow-gray from the Russian side as a threat to the enemy,restless.
Russia and the Horde after Genghis Khan and Batu
In the middle of the 14th century, after the death of Batu Khan on the Horde throne, about 25 rulers changed, and the Horde was torn apart by strife, as a result of which the state split into two parts: the western and the eastern. The eastern part of the Golden Horde was headed by a descendant of Genghis Khan Khan Tokhtamysh. And in the western part of power seized insidious warlord Mamai, seizing the throne by cunning and deceit. Having pacified temporarily by the power of strife, he decided to return the former power over Russia. The Arab shah sent by him to the Nizhny Novgorod principality inflicted a severe defeat on the united Russian army, which was headed by the Moscow Prince Dmitry Bobrok Volynsky. This was followed by the battle of Russian and Horde troops on the river Vozhe. The Russian army in this battle was commanded by the Moscow Prince Dmitry Ivanovich Donskoy. And the Horde army - Mamai himself. This time, luck accompanied the Russians, and the defeated Mamai held the thought of revenge in his heart. The possibility and outcome of such a revenge is in the description of the painting "The Duel on the Kulikovo Field" presented in the article.
The brief description of the painting "The Duel on the Kulikovo Field" presents a composition that repeats the formation of troops before the Kulikovo battle.On the eve of September 8, 1380, two huge ratifications headed by Dmitry Ivanovich and Mamai gathered in a confrontation near the confluence of the River Nepryadva in the Don.The basis of the Russian troops were Muscovites. Under the leadership of the Moscow prince warriors united almost from all Russian principalities.Under the Horde command, the peoples of the Volga region and the Caucasus gathered under the Horde, as well as the Lithuanian and Ryazan principalities.
It is this moment that the author depicted on his canvas. On the Kulikovo field, the Horde and Russian troops lined up on the left and right. Russian squads are placed in accordance with historical information on the banks of the Don, through which they have just crossed. The warriors in the front row hold banners with the face of Jesus Christ in their hands as a sign of blessing and God's support.
To avoid the inevitable bloody rivers, according to legend, it was decided to determine the outcome of the battle by dueling two powerful heroes. From the Horde people, they became Chelubey, and from the Russians - the warrior-monk Peresvet, sent with Dmitry Ivanovich's army to the founder of the Trinity-Sergius Monastery, Sergius of Radonezh. That Peresvet and Chelubey - the main characters of the canvas.Let's return to the description of the picture "The Duel on the Kulikovo Field". They occupy the center of the canvas and, according to the iconic hierarchy, seem much larger than other warriors, which does not correspond to the possible distance between the combatants and their army.
The truth about Peresvet and the image of the Russian hero
Relight - the figure is equally real and legendary. Many people consider Peresvet a hero of folk tales, a fictional character, a collective image of the ancient Russian hero. In fact, the warrior sung in folk art was a very real person. Little is known about his fate. He came from a noble boyar family of the Bryansk principality. The adolescence and youth of Alexander Peresvet were held in works and prayers, as well as in military training, so that at any moment he could defend the Fatherland. Further, his fate was associated with the protection of his native land - he gave a lot of effort to military labor, serving in the princely army.
Later, together with his probably cousin Andrew, nicknamed Oslyabya, also from the boyar Bryansk clan, he became a monk. According to legend, the tonsure was taken at the Rostov Borisoglebsky Monastery.Then they moved to the Trinity Monastery of St. Sergius, near Moscow, but how exactly they got there is unknown.
By 1380 they were already elderly monks, known to many as brave and invincible knights, powerful Russian warriors. Before leaving for the battle, blessed by Sergius of Radonezh, Peresvet prayed in the chapel of Sts. Dmitry Solunsky - the patron of the Russian army.
According to the surviving descriptions from the Nikon chronicle, during the fight Alexander Peresvet was dressed in a monastic robe, given to him by Sergius of Radonezh. The robe was covered on all sides with images of the cross. He was wearing a helmet on his head, and a cockle on top of it (a monk's headdress covering his head, neck and even shoulders). Of the weapons Peresvet had only a spear. Whether he had a horse, is not mentioned anywhere.
According to various sources, the outcome of the fight was a severe injury or death of a monk. However, together with all the fallen he was not buried on the field - he was transported and buried in the Church of the Nativity of the Virgin in the Simonovsky Monastery.
As for the artistic image of Peresvet, created by Avilov, ideologically, the hero is an example of courage and courage,an ideal reference point for educating those in contemplating the canvas of pride in their homeland and its advocates, patriotism and interest in history. But for those who are not just interested, but compared the facts, it will become obvious that Peresvet Avilova is still young enough. His clothes are more like the clothes of a warrior: a shishak helmet, chain mail, a shield. There is no question of any monastic robes with crosses and a puppet. So with all the credibility of the image of Alexander Peresvet, the historical truth in the picture is clearly broken.
The riddle of Chelubey and the artistic image of the warrior
As for the image of Chelubey, or, as history still knows, Timir-Murza or Tavrula, the beloved warrior Mamai, the chronicles retained his mention as a formidable and invincible warrior. In addition, he was considered immortal. Chelubey spent three hundred fights and all became the winner. Such luck seems mythological. However, the mystery of the viability and invincibility of the Horde warrior could now be explained.
Chelubey was a Tibetan monk who mastered the practice of Bon-po's combat magic. The art of this struggle is in the possession of magic spells to summon demon spirits and the ability to use them during battle, calling them to help.At the same time, the dedicated “immortal” actually sells the soul to the dark forces, and no one can defeat it. However, such a person voluntarily dooms his soul after death to remain in the realm of demons. Defeat the "possessed" can only a warrior, clothed with the power of God. That he was the Russian knight monk Peresvet.
The image of Chelubey in the picture of Avilov is very plausible, but clearly inferior to the power of the Russian hero. If you carefully consider the equipment of the Horde warrior and compare it with known facts, it turns out that ordinians usually dressed in a quilted padded caftan. Under it, the armor reaching to its knees, with iron shoulder pads and gloves, was hoisted. And under the shell - a leather jacket with iron hoops, fastened from the elbow to the brush on the narrow sleeves. They wore soft leather boots on their feet, covered with metal plates, one of which, apparently the heel, had a sharp spike. On the head is a round helmet with a padded neck and a chainmail net covering the shoulders and neck. The helmet was decorated with two tufts of hair. Of the weapons are usually used curves swords, bows, spears, daggers.
In the picture, Avilov Chelubey ignores the tradition: he is dressed in an ordinary robe of fine fabric, too richly decorated for a monk. What is dressed in a bathrobe is not visible. On the legs are pants and boots up to the middle of the calf, on the back of which a metal patch is visible. Neither the lining of the iron plates, nor the spike on the "patch" is not visible. The head of Chelubey is covered with an expensive hat with a fur edge, sucking unlike a helmet. She does not have two bunches of hair on top. In addition, the character has to protect the shield. While preserving obvious plausibility, this image in the canvas is historically unreliable. Even if we take into account the "immortality" of Chelubey, it is unlikely that a warrior, realizing the importance and complexity of the moment, would take such a risk.
Duel of Good with Evil
The painting "The Duel of Peresvet with Chelubey" was painted by Avilov in the difficult years for the country - the Great Patriotic War.
The author's intent, which had matured for about 25 years, was implemented in just six months. Whether the author wanted through the legendary images to reflect the events of his time allegorically or not is unknown, but it happened. If we look at the picture from the point of view of the eternal struggle in the world of Good and Evil in the form of Peresvet and Chelubey,then why not imagine the Good Soviet Union and its army, which came to death in a battle with Nazi Germany, the Nazi army - the personification of Evil.
So Avilov's painting “The Duel on the Kulikovo Field” will always be relevant and can be viewed from the point of view of the embodiment of the idea of the unity of the Russian people against enemies, and the image of Peresvet - as a benchmark for imitation of love for the Motherland, readiness to give his life for his native land.