Censorship of art acted not only in Soviet times. In the time of tsarist Russia, works by fairly well-known artists fell under the ban. The reason for the refusal to demonstrate a work of art could be simply a truthful depiction of events or, on the contrary, their unusual interpretation. Sometimes it’s hard to believe that censorship affected real masterpieces of art.
The idea of writing a historical picture originated with the artist in 1881 under the influence of two events: the assassination of Alexander II and the music of Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Revenge”. Two years later, the artist saw bullfighting in Spain and was completely discouraged by the sight of blood.
Then direct work on the painting itself was begun, which was completed after 4 years. The painting was appreciated by critics and artists, but Tsar Alexander III, on the contrary, caused such discontent that he immediately forbade it to be shown to anyone. Continue reading