27 Works, Today, May 3rd. is artist Viktor Vasnetsov’s day, his story, illustrated with footnotes #122

Viktor Mikhailovich Vasnetsov (1848–1926)
Sirin and Alkonost. A song of joy and sorrow, c. 1896

Oil on canvas
the Tretyakov Gallery

Sirin is a mythological creature of Russian legends, with the head and chest of a beautiful woman and the body of a bird (usually an owl). According to the myth, they lived “in Indian lands” near Eden or around the Euphrates River.

These half-women half-birds are loosely based on the Greek stories about sirens. They sang beautiful songs to the saints, foretelling future joys. For mortals, however, the birds were dangerous. Men who heard them would forget everything on earth, follow them, and ultimately die. People would attempt to save themselves Sirins by shooting cannons, ringing bells and making other loud noises to scare the bird off. More on Sirin and Alkonost

Viktor Mikhaylovich Vasnetsov (May 15, 1848 — July 23, 1926) was a Russian artist who specialized in mythological and historical subjects. He is considered the co-founder of Russian folklorist and romantic nationalistic painting, and a key figure in the Russian revivalist movement.

Vasnetsov was born in the remote village of Lopyal in Vyatka Governorate in 1848. His father was a member of the priesthood, and of scholarly dictation in the natural sciences and astronomy. His grandfather was an icon painter…

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Author: Zaidan Art Blog

I search Art History for Beautiful works that may, or may not, have a secondary or unexpected story to tell. I then write short summaries that grow from my research. Art work is so much more when its secrets are exposed

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