These are details from a larger painting inspired by the fairytale ‘the Firebird’.

This is partially based on an old Russian folk tale in which the firebird attempts to steal a golden apple from the Tsar’s magic tree. But Ivan, the third son of an old woodcutter, captures her and is promised one of her fiery feathers if he lets her go. He does so and she flies off. The feather will summon her when he is in need.

In my interpretation of the story Ivan has to accomplish three tasks to marry the Tsarevna: first he must play a tune so beautiful that all the birds of the forest will fly down to listen; second, he must bind two dogs to him without using a chain while they are passing by deer and hares; and third, the servants are from all over the world and Ivan must speak to them so that all understand in their own native language.