Central to the coronation ceremony the Emperor crowned himself as the elect of God, and was annointed to prepare himself for his ministry as Tsar of all the Russians and protector of Orthodox Christians everywhere. To emphasive the sanctity of the event the 17th century was evoked, an idealised time before secularisation eroded on a concensus of what is sacred. Vasnetsov was foremost amongst the artists rediscovering the old Russian traditions and he was accorded a central place among artists commissioned to celebrate the coronation.
The banquet held in the Granovitaya Palata in the Kremlin, finished at 3:55 pm, the menu capturing the public imagination more than any other souvenir of the coronation and was widely reproduced and distributed. It occupied a central position in Vasnetsov's oeuvre, and in the contemporary Slavophile movement for the rediscovery of ancient Russian forms. It is reproduced in the two volume Coronation Album, both as detail and also as a whole plate. See also the catalogue The Twilight of the Tsarism, South Bank Centre, March 1991, p. 172 n. 488 and Kirichenko, E. Russian Design and the Fine Arts, London, 1991, p. 152, pl. 138.