Antique Russian painting oil on canvas, Tsar Ivan the Terrible Admiring Vasilisa Melentieva


Original work by Gregory Sedona is in a Russian museum in St.Petersburg.

Painting is signed and dated: .Stiepevich 87

Vasilisa Melentieva was the sixth wife of Ivan the Terrible, taken by him as a concubine without any wedding ceremony. Suspected of infidelity, she was forcibly confined to a nunnery in 1577. Sedov”s painting is probably based more on Alexander Ostrovsky”s drama “Vasilisa Melentieva” than on historical fact. According to the writer, Ivan found out about Vasilisa”s feelings for Prince Devyatlov when she called out his name in her sleep. Sedov depicts Tsar Ivan gazing ardently at his sleeping wife, who is about to let slip the name of her lover. The treatment of Russian history as dramatic events, including the personal lives of the tsars and those around them, was a distinguishing characteristic of Russian art of this era.

Vincent G. Stiepevich was a Russian 19th Century painter who was born in 1841.

In 1878, Vincent Stiepevich arrived in New York and settled in Brooklyn. Stiepevich was already a fully trained realist artist who practiced portrait, figure and genre painting. A favorite subject of his was Orientalist Harem scenes. Stiepevich was a member of or exhibited with the Artists Fund Society, the Brooklyn Art Association, the National Academy of Design, The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Boston Arts Club and the Art Institute of Chicago.

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