Title of the article:



Helena Y. Muratava

Information about the author/authors

Helena Yu. Muratаva — DSc in Philology, Professor, Professor of the Chair of General and Russian Linguistic, Vitebsk Masherov State University, Moskovsky Ave. 33, 210036 Vitebsk, Republic of Belarus.

ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5246-8911

E-mail: mouratova@tut.by


Philological sciences




Vol. 70


pp. 209–219


June 07, 2022

Approved after reviewing

January 24, 2023

Date of publication

December 25, 2023



Index UDK

811. 161. 1’37

Index BBK



The paper examines the painting by K. Petrov-Vodkin “Bathing of the Red Horse”, its reflection and artistic refraction in poetic texts. The study opens with describing the artistic image of the horse in world mythology, religions, folklore, art, world and domestic literature. The horse is one of the most mythologized animals: it is the sun-horse, the fire-horse, a symbol of death and resurrection, a symbol of male power, the embodiment of a connection with the supernatural world. The cult of the horse underlies various amulets, for example, in the decoration of a Russian hut, crowned with a horse, in amulets with the image of a horse's head, in relation to a horseshoe as a symbol of happiness in home, etc.
The painting “Bathing the Red Horse” was exhibited in 1912. Until now, the meaning of this canvas is not completely clear, so that the picture has many readings and interpretations. The horse`s red color specifically caused various disputes. After the revolution of 1917, this powerful red horse was perceived as a symbol of revolution, a symbol of change. In this sense, the picture is truly prophetic: very soon the whole world will turn red with the First World War, the revolution, fascism in Germany, and the Second World War. Four horsemen of the Apocalypse raced hard through the 20th century. The horse is a symbol of nature, of the huge world surrounding man, unpredictable, elemental, scary and strong in its own way. Red horse — The Sun Horse, a symbol of male strength, hybrid of a horse and a bird gives rise to the hope that he will not throw a teenage boy to the ground and crush him, but on the contrary, with all his strength, endurance, patience, will help him and carry the boy to the bright side of life. It became a kind of response to the mood of decadence and hopelessness among the Russian intelligentsia of the early twentieth century. As the paper shows, in poetic texts one may also come across a different understanding of the picture (personification of a happy childhood, modern Russia, symbol of a better time to come, etc.).


Horse, Painting, Poetic Text, Interpretation, Red.


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