"How the Tsar Shot Thousands of Workers": This illustration is a scene from Bloody Sunday, January 9 1905, showing men, women and children shot down in front of the Winter Palace. This image demonstrates both the kinds of violent episodes of political history included in this work, and the successful way that Kustodiev handles this difficult subject matter for young readers.
In the forefront, a sea of people are shown, but only a few faces are singled out from the crowd.
A man and woman attempt to support a man who has been shot.
In the center a mother in a red and white polka-dotted kerchief lays down her slain boy.
On the snow, red patches of blood attest to the devastation of that day.
The Winter Palace, St. Petersburg.
The Admiralty Spire is visble in the background, St. Petersburg.
Kustodiev has softened this disturbing content by having the victims appear to swoon, sway or sleep peacefully. The expressions of the dead and dying are grave but peaceful.