Andrei Ryabushkin was a famous Russian artist of the late XIX century. But he gained fame not only because of the special manner of writing. Ryabushkin was a famous historian. And especially he was interested in Russian costumes, Russian life. It is this huge preparatory work and the study of the material that are well reflected in his work of 1901 – “They’re coming!”.
The canvas depicts a Russian army. But there is absolutely no sense of any military action. These people came not to fight, they gathered here for fun. Andrei Ryabushkin was very interested in the history of the Russian state during the reign of Peter I. Therefore, this picture shows the event of April 29, 1698. On this significant day for the Russian people, foreign ambassadors came to Moscow. This day was considered important because foreigners in Russia have always been a wonder. All the people of cities and villages gathered to look at visitors from faraway countries.
In order not to be dishonored in front of foreign ambassadors, Peter the Great created a special order, according to which all the inhabitants of the city were obliged to fulfill their roles. In this work, there is clearly some artist mockery. Andrei Ryabushkin is clearly amused by the fact that it was so necessary to prepare for the arrival of ambassadors. So, in the foreground of the work depicts the imperial army, consisting of representatives of the nobility and archers. On men, beautiful, elegant clothes. In front are three men in a green, yellow and red suit. On the shoulders they hold a big gun. In their right hand, they hold a berdysh – the traditional Russian weapon of archers. On the feet of men – good leather boots, red or brown. Behind the archers there are real Russian beauties in painted scarves.