Surikov Vasily Ivanovich. 1848-1917 Creation date:
Surikovís artistry is a pinnacle of the Russian historical painting of the second half of the XIX century. Artist was interested in the events of Russian history and the turning points in the peopleís fate. The theme of the painting is the suppression by Peter the Great of a rebellion and execution of the rebels at the Red Square in Moscow. After the fall of Tsarevna Sophia Alekseyevna in 1689, the government of the Peter the Great engaged in a process of gradual limitation of Streltsyís military and political influence. In spite of these measures, Streltsy revolted yet again while Peter was on his political mission to Europe. While the revolt was put down by the Scottish General Patrick Gordon, (before Peterís return to Russia), nonetheless, Peter cut his trip short and returned crushing Streltsy with brutal punishment, including public executions and torture. Technically, the corps were abolished in 1689, however, after suffering a defeat at Narva in 1700, the government stopped their disbandment. The most efficient Streltsy regiments took part in the most important military operations of the Great Northern War and in the Peterís Prut Campaign of 1711. Gradually, Streltsy were incorporated into regular army.