Konstantin Makovsky: A boyar wedding feast (1883)

(Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens, Washington DC, USA)

A painting by the Russian artist Konstantin Makovsky (1839–1915). This historical piece shows Russian boyars (members of the feudal Bulgarian, Russian and Romanian aristocracies) celebrating the marriage between a man and a woman fro two boyar families in the 15th/ 16th century. The depicted moment is the '
gor’ko toast' of the guests to the bridal couple. According to tradition the wine is first bitter (gor’ko means bitter) and newlywed couple must kiss it to make the wine sweet again. The roasted swan which is brought in signals that this is the last dish before the couple retires. Painting from 1883.