The Monomachy of Prince Mstislav the Daring and Prince Rededia of the Adyghes
Andrei Ivanov is a representative of Russian academic school of the late 18th century – early 19th century. He created paintings on historical, mythological and biblical subjects. In his most significant works he embodied the idea of citizenship and patriotism. The plot of the painting is described in the chronicles. According to the chronicles in a year of 6530 (1022) Mstislav Vladimirivich the Daring, Prince of Tmutorokan set out for fighting against the Kassogians. Having known about it the prime Prince of the Adyghe union Rededia came forward to meet the enemy. When both armies had met Rededia suggested that they could solve the battle by the monomachy and escape bloodshed. According to the conditions the winner would take the family, land and everything including the life of the conquered. While fighting Mstislav began to lose might but in the end he managed to defeat Rededia. Having defeated his rival Msticlav killed him. Afterwards, Mstislav attributed his victory to protection of Mother of God who he was praying during the fight. The painting is arranged by the rules of classicism: the composition is finely balanced in which two central figures of the athletes creates a conditional triangle in the centre of the canvas, local contrasts of colour and the use of chiaroscuro that suggests modelling of volumes. All these features enable the viewer to get the simple perception of the plot and accentuate the main characters. The artist depicts the final stage of the struggle and the troops shown in the background wait for the outcome of the monomachy. Mstislav stands over the defeated Kassogian Prince and the Fame hovers over his head. Depicting the events of the 11th century the artists responded in the allegorical form to the events of 1812 when the troops of Napoleon invaded in Russia. Andrei Ivanov was awarded the title of the professor for this painting.