Ivan the Terrible and His Son Ivan on November 16, 1581
This painting depicts the historical 16th century story of Ivan the Terrible mortally wounding his son Ivan in a fit of rage. By far the most psychologically intense of Repin’s paintings, the Emperor’s face is fraught with terror, as his son lay quietly dying in his arms, blood dripping down the side of his face.
This is deep
Fun fact! The reason Ivan looks so afraid is that by doing this, he had wiped out all of his blood relatives to take over as the Czar.
Before he killed his son, he was beating his pregnant daughter-in-law for the clothes she wore. The beating was so severe, she miscarried. Her husband, Ivan’s son, argued with Ivan that he was too harsh. In a fit of anger, he struck his son with an iron staff. His son was in a coma in a few days, and died from the festering wound.
Ivan had killed his soon-to-be grandson and his son, leaving no heirs for the throne. He showed much grief, seeing as he and his son were rather close.
The raw emotion in this painting almost makes you feel bad for him.