Born in Krasnoiarsk in 1848, Surikov died in Moscow in 1916. He is one of the great masters of history painting, and he occupies a special place in Russian culture. Like Delacroix, he believed that history was not a pretext for nice painting but an inexorable drama with neither culprits nor innocents but rather people driven by invisible forces. He was very knowledgeable about Russian history, and his paintings deal with crucial moments. He sought in historical events the answers to pressing problems of his time. Here is a book about a painter little-known in the West, analysed with understanding by one of the greatest Russian art critics.