Polenov’s interest in the theater was awakened under the influence of S. Mamontov. Mamontov’s theatrical activity was based on the idea of creating, in his own words, the “truly beautiful new world.”
This creation assumed the transformation of reality into a certain conventional poetic world built on the ideals of heroism and beauty. The very “pedagogical” thought was close to Polenov, and he plunged into theatrical work, having designed many Mammoth performances.
Especially he succeeded scenery for productions, fabulously transforming reality. So, his design of
No less interesting is the sketch of the scenery “Altar and walls in the Gothic style”, 1899 for the opera by P. Tchaikovsky “Orlean Maiden”. The logical development of this attitude of Polenov to the theater was his activity in organizing folk theaters, which peaked in the 1910s.