Vasily Tropinin - Yuri Samarin, 1846.
Aaah, that’s Samarin and he is just perfect. He was one of the leaders of Slavophilism - very special Russian intellectual movement of the mid 19th century. Also he took part in carrying out the Emancipation reforms. Yes, and Emperor Nicolas regarded Samarin as rebel and so on.
Slavophiles were great admirers of medieval, “pre-Petrine” Russia. Their aim was to find, you know, original Russian culture; smth they believed to be essential Russian spirit.
After Peter’s the Great and Catherine’s the Great rules Russia became so “westernized” (in very special sense, I should say) that original culture, traditions, history were forgotten. Or regarded as boring, barbarian and a bit degenerative.
So Slavophiles fought against this pattern. They re-discavered Medieval Russia. They collected old legends and tales. They studied Medieval history. And all that interest to original Russian culture appeared at the end of 19th century were prepared by Slavophiles.
(There will be second part about Slavophiles certainly, I love these odd gays)