Olga's Gallery

Vasily Surikov

The Boyarynia Morozova.

1887. Oil on canvas. The Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia. Read Note.

Vasily Surikov. The Boyarynia Morozova.

Boyarynya Morozova. Tzar Alexey Mikhailovich Romanov (1629-1676, tzar 1645-1676), father of Peter I the Great, started the reforms in Russia; one of them aimed to subordinate the church to the tzar. As a result the Russian Orthodox Church split into Nikonians (those who followed the new course, the name comes from the revolutionary patriarch Nikon) and old-believers (they were headed by Avvakum). Besides other changes, such as the revision of icons and holy books, there were changes in the divine service. Also crossing oneself with three fingers, instead of two, was introduced. (In the picture Boyarynya and her supporters are shown with two fingers up, which means they are old-belivers). Feodosiya Morozova, née Sokovnina (1632-1675), old-believer, boyarynya. (boyarin for a man, boyarynya for a woman, denoted a person of the highest nobility in old Russia. They were all descendants of the Grand Dukes and princes of Russia. Their council, boyarskaya duma, was a powerful body in old Russia). Boyarynya Morozova had secret connections with Avvakum, helped his family, and incited people to rebellion. She and her sister were arrested in 1671. First, the tzar planned a public execution, but feared unrest and sent them out off Moscow. Boyarynya Morozova died in prison in Borovsk