Three deaths of Ivan the Terrible: for which they attacked the picture of Repin, and that threatens those who try again 

On May 26, in one of the halls of the Tretyakov Gallery, a resident of Voronezh, Igor Podporin, broke a protective glass of Ilya Repin ‘s painting Ivan the Terrible and his son Ivan by a fencing column . Then the man three times slashed a knife across the canvas. The cuts remained on the image of the tsar’s torso, the most important parts of the picture – the faces of the main characters and the hands of Ivan the Terrible – were not injured.
Podporin admitted that initially he was going to just look at the canvas, but he went down to the buffet and drank vodka. Vodka thirst for justice Igor could not quench. Previously, he claimed that he had damaged the canvas because of the “unreliability of historical facts depicted on the canvas”.
Experts believe that the restoration of the picture should not take a lot of time. We decided to recall two more cases and figure out what did not please the vandals and others who were going through the work of Repin.
The first reason: too much blood
The incident in the Tretyakov Gallery is not the first “knife wound” for the picture. Back in 1913, icon painter Abram Balashov made an attempt on the creation of Repin .
“He repeatedly visited the Tretyakov Gallery, looked at the pictures, but no one suspected that he was crazy, because he always behaved modestly and quite correctly. Having passed several halls, he looked at the picture “Boyary Morozov” and whispered something in front of her, and at the entrance to the hall where Repin’s picture “ Ivan the Terrible ” was located, suddenly rushed to the picture with a frantic cry, jumped over the barrier and cord enclosing the picture , and with the words: “Enough blood” – slashed the picture three times with a knife. All this was accomplished so quickly that the servant who followed Balashov and immediately rushed at him did not have time to prevent stabbing the picture with a knife, but only managed to disarm him when the cuts were already made. ”
Quote from the newspaper “New time”, issue of January 30 (17), 1913
From the “crying act of vandalism” suffered the faces of both heroes of the picture. Then Balashov was sent to a psychiatric clinic, from where his father took him three weeks later. The painting came to restore the restorer Bogoslovsky. Recovery took 4 weeks.
Repin’s picture was accused of excessive naturalism – they argued that using this style to depict a terrible image, the artist does not evaluate events, but simply copies them.
Reason Two: The Artist Slandered the King
The second time on the Repin canvas began a century later after the first assassination. In 2013, a group of Orthodox activists turned to the Tretyakov Gallery with the requirement to remove the picture from the exhibition. In addition to the gallery, the appeal was addressed to the Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation  Vladimir Medinsky .
“In the remarkable collection of the gallery there are a number of paintings containing slander against the Russian people, against the Russian state, against the Russian pious Tsars and Tsarits. Such pictures obviously have no place in this collection of Russian pictorial masterpieces. First of all, we are talking about a vile, slanderous and false, both in his plot and in his pictorial reproduction of the painting by I. Ye. Repin “Ivan the Terrible and his son Ivan on November 16, 1581”.
Excerpt from circulation
The Tretyakov Gallery refused to fulfill the demands of the activists, and its former director Irina Lebedeva noted that Repin is not a historian, but above all an artist who has the right to interpret historical events herself.
What will happen to those who want to “crush Repin”
After the incident, the Ministry of Culture and the Tretyakov Gallery asked the State Duma to toughen the penalties for damage to works of art. For Igor Podporin, who attacked the painting on May 26, Vladimir Medinsky has already demanded “the most severe punishment.” Now the damage caused to the picture by restorers is estimated at 500 thousand rubles, and a criminal case has already been filed against Podporin. He faces a fine of up to 3 million rubles or imprisonment of up to three years.
But there is good news.
The main positive feature of vandalism is that everyone now knows that Repin’s painting is called “Ivan the Terrible and his son Ivan”, and not “Ivan the Terrible kills his son.”
– Alexander Mishchenkov (@ stratfor77) May 26, 2018

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