1861. Oil on canvas. The Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia. Read Note.
Great Duchess Sophia Vitovna, the picture depicts a minor episode from Russian history. XII-XV centuries is a period of small feudal states in Russia, which continuously fought each other. In 1433 a group of princes gathered in Moscow for the wedding of the Great Duke Vasiliy II. A young prince from Galich Vasiliy Kosoy appeared at the wedding feast in a beautiful golden belt, decorated with precious stones, a present of his father-in-law. One of the guests recognized the belt, it had been presented to the Grand Duke Dmitry Donskoy, grandfather of Vasiliy II, but was then stolen from him. Vasiliy II’s mother Great Duchess Sopia Vitovna rushed to the unsuspecting Vasiliy Kosoy and tore the belt from him. It was an insult to a guest, besides prince Vasiliy Kosoy did not know the story of the belt, this led to further complications among Russian states