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Ivan the Terrible by the Body of His Son, Whom He Has Murdered. 1877

Pelevin Ivan,
Oil on canvas
133 х 145

State Russian Museum

Пост.: 1977 от Т.Ю. Гавронской (Ленинград)


Ivan IV is accused of killing Tsarevich Ivan, his son from his first marriage, to Anastasia Yuryeva-Zakharina, who died young. It is believed that in a fit of rage in the Kremlin the Tsar accidentally broke his son’s skull with a blow from his staff. Despite its legendary nature the story of this killing stirred many artists during the 19th century. Most of them treated it as a complex psychological drama with the theme of repentance as its leitmotif. Pelevin does not show the actual conflict, but its aftermath: the painful reflection and emotions of a tsar who has committed an unintended crime and endangered the future of the country and the dynasty.

Author's Biography

Pelevin Ivan

Pelevin, Ivan Andreevich
1840, St Petersburg å 1917, Petrograd
Painter, mosaicist, history painter, genre artist. Studied at the Imperial Academy of Arts (1856y• 1862). Graduated with the title of Free (Non-Class) Artist, third grade. Academician of painting (1869). Worked at the mosaics department of the Imperial Academy of Arts (from the late 1860). Contributed to the exhibitions of the Imperial Academy of Arts (1864–1890) and the Society of Travelling Art Ex¬hibitions(1874),WorldExhibitionsinLondon(1872) and Paris (1878).

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