Sadko in the Underwater Kingdom (1876)
«And then the King of the Sea sent a tempest to drive away the ships of the celebrated merchant Sadko, and an offer of sacrifice was made to him. The famous merchant descended into the waves and was admitted to the underwater feast. The King of the Sea wished to give Sadko as his wife one of the beautiful princesses, but Sadko chose a simple girl. The merchant fell asleep after the big wedding feast and found himself waking up in his hometown of Novgorod.» Dating back to the 12th century, this ancient song about Sadko, a Novgorod merchant, is a fine example of popular Russian epic poetry that reached us from that distant time.
Ilya Repin (1844-1930), one of the leading representatives of Russian realism, selected the moment when Sadko on the order of the King of the Sea chose one of the princesses as his wife. Amazing beauties dressed in the best ethnic costumes of different countries appear out of the greenish waters to stroll before Sadko. The merchant, however, looks at a girl dressed in a Russian peasant’s dress, and who stands aloof. And all this is happening in the wonderful underwater world.
This mythology-inspired painting is quite unusual for the artist, known especially for his historical representations, portraits of contemporaries and scenes of Russian life from the late nineteenth – early twentieth century. Viktor Vasnetsov, a painter who later became famous for his canvases inspired by Russian folk tales, served as a model for Sadko’s character. Aspiring to absolute authenticity, Repin, an adept of realism, studied atlases of marine life and even went to visit the Aquarium in Berlin. However, the painting clearly displays elements of symbolism and a new artistic style. Later, it was this painting by Repin that inspired stage designers working on the eponymous opera by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov.
The painting was exhibited for the first time at the Paris Salon in 1876, but without much success. At the same time, the painter became famous in Russia: it was thanks to this masterpiece that Ilya Repin received the title of Academician of the Imperial Academy of Fine Arts, where eighteen years later he was to direct the painting workshop and train Filipp Malyavin, Ivan Bilibin, Nicholas Fechin, Valentin Serov and many other great Russian painters.
90% Merlot – 10% Cabernet Franc
Soil type: Sand & Clay
Harvesting: 100% manual
Vinification methods: Soft, slow maceration and fermentation Pumping over Malolactic fermentation in barrels
Ageing: 100% new Radoux Blend barrels
Cultivation practices: Reasoned viticulture (Lutte raisonnée). Manual vineyard work. Mechanical weed control
This vintage is marked by woody aromas and bitter notes of dark chocolate. Bringing flavors of spice, vanilla, licorice, cinnamon and nutmeg, the new oak fits well into the rich cherry-blackberry-blueberry cocktail. Aromatic herbal notes complete the bouquet. The wine is juicy, expressive and dense.