Ivan the Terrible and His Son Ivan on November 16, 1581

I’ve been doing a bit of reading on Czar Ivan IV “the Terrible” lately and have been transfixed by the painting each time I’ve come across it during my research. It was painted by Ilya Repin in 1885, over 300 years after the event it depicts: Ivan’s murder of his own beloved son in a fit of rage. I think this painting captures Ivan in all of his madness, passion, piety, confusion, and terror. It is a stunning depiction of one of the most stunning figures of history.

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