Boris Zvorykin - Illustrations to “Boris Godunov”
"Boris Godunov" is a play by Alexander Pushkin, written in 1825. The play is based on history of Boris Godunov’s reign (1598-1605), which is believed to be the beginning of Smuta ( "The Time of Troubles", but I prefer Russian term).
Smuta was a crucial period in Russian history. Civil war, Polish and Sweden invasions, total chaos in governmental, economical and social structures - Smuta almost destroyed the country.
Pushkin wrote his play inspired by Shakespeare’s historical dramas. “Boris Godunov” is highly reverenced in Russian culture - there’re opera by Mussorgsky, based on the play, and thousand allusions in poetry, literature, art etc.
By the legend, Pushkin himself was so exulted after finishing the play, that cried: “What a Pushkin, what a son of a bitch!”