The Princess Who Never Smiled (Tsarevna Nesmeyana) by Viktor Vasnetsov

There was once a princess named Euna who never smiled or laughed. Her father promised that whoever made her smile could marry her, and many tried, but none succeeded.

Across the town, an honest worker worked hard for his master. At the end of the year, the master put a sack of money before him and told him to take as much as he wanted. To avoid sinning by taking too much, he took only one coin, and when he went to drink from a well, he dropped the coin and lost it. The next year, the same thing happened to him. The third year, the worker took the same amount of coin as before, but when he drank from the well, he did not lose his coin, and the other two coins floated up to him. He decided to see the world. A mouse asked him for alms; he gave him a coin. Then he did the same for a beetle and a catfish.

He came to the castle and saw princess Euna looking at him. This astounded him, and he fell in the mud. The mouse, the beetle, and the catfish came to his aid, and at their antics, the princess laughed. She pointed him out as the man, and when he was brought into the castle, he had been turned into a handsome man. The honest worker, now a handsome man, married princess Euna.

Ilya Repin - Portrait of Pavel Chistyakov

Chistyakov was an academic painter and teacher of art. Being a mediocre artist, he was nevertheless an outstanding teacher. Among his students were Ilya Repin, Viktor Vasnetsov, Valentin Serov, Vasily Polenov, Yelena Polenova, Vasily Surikov, Mikhail Vrubel, Andrei Ryabushkin.