1881. Oil on canvas. The Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia. Read Note.
Morning of the Strelets’ Execution. The subject of the picture is the historical event of September 1698. The Streltsy were regular troops. But they didn't remain politically impartial and participated in many palace take-overs, supporting either this or that leader. At the end of the 17th century they came out against the reforms of Peter I the Great. Several mutinies were suppressed; the last one happened while Peter I was abroad, the tzar had to stop his travels and return to Russia. This time he decided to get rid of the Streltsy forever. The executions, which started in 1698 went on for 2 years and took place in different parts of Moscow. The corpses of the executed were kept on the spot of execution for a long time for threatening of the population