Famous Russian painting damaged in vodka-fueled attack
MOSCOW (Reuters) – One of Russia’s most famous paintings, which depicts Tsar Ivan the Terrible cradling his dying son, has been badly damaged after a man attacked it with a metal pole after drinking vodka.
The canvas, “Ivan the Terrible and His Son Ivan on November 16, 1581,” was completed by renowned Russian realist Ilya Repin in 1885 and portrays a grief-stricken tsar holding his own son in his arms after dealing him a mortal blow, a historical incident whose veracity some Russian nationalists dispute.
The gallery in central Moscow where the painting was displayed, the State Tretyakov Gallery, said a man had attacked the canvas just before closing time on Friday evening.
It said he had somehow got past a group of gallery employees, picked up one of the metal security poles used to keep the public back from the painting, and struck its protective glass covering several times.
“As a result of the blows the thick glass … was smashed,” the gallery said in a statement. “Serious damage was done to the painting. The canvas was pierced in three places in the central part of the work which depicts the figure of the tsarevich (the tsar’s son).”