Vasily Surikov. The Conquest of Siberia by Yermak.
1895. Oil on canvas. 285 x 599.
The State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia.
In 1887, Surikov’s wife died. Her death caused a deep depression: he gave up painting, turned to religion, and left with his children for Siberia. The atmosphere, familiar from childhood, and the caring attitude of his friends restored him to life.
The impressions brought from Siberia, have inspired him on new pictures.
After the Taking of Snow Fortress Surikov started painting The Conquest of Siberia by Yermak (1895). The battle of the 16th century between the Cossacks under their ataman (commander) Yermak Timofeevich and the troops of Kuchum-Khan, the ruler of Siberia, he showed with reliability of a witness.
Yermak Timofeevich (?-1585), the Cossacks’ ataman (commander) in Urals. With his military campaigns of 1581-1585 started the Russian conquests of Siberia. Killed in action against Kuchum-Khan (?-1598), the last khan of the Siberian Khan-state, who escaped from the Russians into Nogay Horde, where he was killed.