Description of the painting by Vasily Polenov “The arrest of the Huguenot”

Description of the painting by Vasily Polenov “The arrest of the Huguenot”

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The painting was painted in oil on canvas in 1875.

Genre in painting: historical. Polenov painted a picture at a young age. His paintings are appreciated not only in our country, but also in Europe.

The painting depicts the arrest of Countess d’Etremont. The picture is filled with the tragedy of those cruel and bloodthirsty times. Polenov protests injustice and violence against people. The picture amazes with gloomy tones that convey the severity of the event.

The countess was arrested and her eyes lowered, but she is unshakable in her faith and beliefs. The guards in steel armor proudly look forward, as if announcing another captured enemy.

The artist reproduced all the details with documentary accuracy. Aged gray-brown tones make the picture dark, corresponding to the historical plot displayed on it.

The term “Huguenot” was first used in France as a mockery of Protestants, but later it became the main name of protesters against the Duke of France and priests. They distributed leaflets with their ideas, conducted their worship, with the goal of overthrowing the government. This caused anger and aggression from opponents.

At first, the Huguenots were banned from their mass gatherings and services, but soon mass persecution, arrests and executions began. They were declared heretics. The bloodthirstiness and ruthlessness of that time are unrivaled. Huguenots, like witches, were burned at the stake.

One of the events that went down in the history of that time was Bartholomew's Night. After which a truce was concluded, but soon the attempts of the Huguenots resumed to defend their truth, and again the hunt began on them.

Polenov’s painting was written under the influence of the events of that era; at the exhibitions presented, she everywhere received recognition, for which he was awarded the title of academician.

The painting is in the State Russian Museum. Saint Petersburg.

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