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The painting “The Burning of the Protopope Habakkuk” of 1897 illustrates the execution of Habakkuk. First, the Protopop spent several years in prison, where he starved and suffered bullying. After that, he was sentenced: burning alive. Residents of the city of Pustozersk came to look at the "sight".
Myasoedov accurately conveyed fiery tongues that are about to devour the figures of two suicide bombers, whose hands are tied to pillars. Habakkuk - a gray-haired grandfather who adhered to the old "faith. He looks exhausted, but there is still much strength in him to defend and lure people into believing in the “true” faith. He stands in a bent position and as if trying to look into the eyes of every person before he dies.
A bright spot in the picture is the boyar in golden robes, the clerk with the royal decree, who read it before the burning, and the priest. They are representatives of the authorities. And her defenders here are archers, who are dressed in red caftans and stand by the fire to prevent a raid of people.
The crowd is divided into two camps: those who pity Habakkuk, and those who show indifference. The sympathizers obviously lose in their numbers: we see a woman with outstretched arms and a man with a raised hand in two fingers — a symbol of the “old” faith.
Myasoedov was able to achieve a direct resemblance to the crucifixion of Christ at Calvary. This is evidenced by the spear of the archer, unfortunate suicide bombers, the church in the background, indifferent residents. It is as if the artist wants to inform the viewer: the consequences of the tragedy will be enormous. Indeed, after the execution, the adherents of the “old” faith began to move to other countries en masse.
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