Painting The Tale of the Sleeping Princess

The Tale of the Sleeping Princess

The painting “The Tale of the Sleeping Princess” by Viktor Mikhailovich Vasnetsov is a virtuoso display of the plot of a literary work

“The Tale of the Sleeping Princess” is a painting by the famous Russian artist Viktor Mikhailovich Vasnetsov. Based on the fairy tale of the same name, the work reflects a sad story. When the long-awaited daughter was born to the king, he made a feast, inviting 11 sorceresses. The twelfth, an old wicked witch, took offense and cursed the princess, predicting her death. The good sorceresses were able to mitigate the punishment, promising that the girl, pricked with a sharp spindle, would remain alive, but would fall asleep for three hundred years until the young man in love kissed her. This moment is captured in the picture.

Together with the girl, others fell asleep. Almost everyone left for the kingdom of Morpheus sitting, only the princess lies on the bench, her left hand hanging down. It looks like she might be about to fall. Lush outfits, rich decoration of the room clearly make it clear that the main character is a girl from a noble family. In the background there is a dense forest, as well as colorful houses, where life is probably in full swing. A mysterious plot, bright details complement the fabulous atmosphere.

  • Year of writing: 1926
  • Size: 214 x 452 cm.
  • Style: Romanticism, Symbolism.
  • Genre: Mythological, fabulous epic.
  • Technique: Oil painting. Material: Canvas.
  • Location: State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow.

About the author

Viktor Mikhailovich Vasnetsov is a Russian artist of the 19th-20th centuries, who is considered the founder of the fairy-tale genre. At one time he was against the revolution, but did not want to leave Russia, because he loved his homeland very much. The country became different, and the painter, in a sense, went into “internal emigration”, plunging into the world of fairy tales and displaying their plots in his work.

A cycle of paintings “The Poem of Seven Tales” was created. They say this work is not just an artistic embodiment of a children’s work. Critics suggest that the author depicted Russia itself asleep. It was she who was drugged and bewitched, remained unconscious. All its residents also fell asleep, not understanding what was happening in the country. The guard also fell asleep, but he was supposed to protect the princess. What will happen next with Tsarevna Rus? Will a good fellow come, who is destined to disenchant the heroine? The author left this question open.