This artwork depicts three daughters of Yaroslav the Wise, Grand Prince of Kyiv and Novgorod, and Ingegerd Olofsdotter of Sweden, his second wife. Yaroslav the Wise as one of the first ruler of Kyivan Rus tried to create strong relations with Western European monarch’s houses by arranging dynastic marriages.
Anna, Anastasia and Elisaveta remind me of hige amount of people, who, for different reasons, leave their homeland to build a new life abroad. Each character has elements which refer to their origin and also obtained objects.
Young women are surrounded with a dense fog that shows a state of lostness which is well-know for everyone after relocation to a foreign country. Eyes from the mist silently watch all their moves. It looks like characters surrort each other but in a closer look it appears that it’s only an illusion.
Anne of Kyiv was a queen-consort of Henry I of France and is often credited with introducing the Greek name «Philip» to royal families of Western Europe, as she bestowed it on her first son; she might have imported this Greek name from her Eastern Orthodox culture. According to one of hypothesises she brought the Reims Gospels, Henry III of France and several of his successors including Louis XIV took their oath on it. Lillies are a symbol of French royal dynasty.
Elisaveta, known as Elisiv of Rus , married King Harald III of Norway. Prior to becoming king, Harald had spent around fifteen years in exile as a mercenary and military commander in Kievan Rus’ and of the Varangian Guard in the Byzantine Empire. She wears lunnitsa, a metal decoration in a form of a crescent. Arctic violet inside Elisiv’s body is the county flower of Oppland in Norway. Elisiv also keeps spikelets of wheat which symbolises the wealth of Kyivan Rus.
Anastasia of Kyiv was Queen of Hungary as the wife of King Andrew the White, who strengthened the position of Christianity in the Kingdom of Hungary and successfully defended its independence against the Holy Roman Empire. Tulips inside her are symbolic flowers of Hyngary. Anastasia has jewelry which is characteristic of the period of her life in Kyivan Rus.