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The spring of 1902 was marked for the artist Mikhail Nesterov by a public review of his painting “Holy Russia”. Here he wanted to apply the icon-painting form of his spiritual practice.
The plot of the picture is based on words from the Bible. The picture shows a winter landscape. The action takes place on Solovki. The sketches written by the artist are taken from these places. The image of Christ, who was surrounded by especially honored in Russia saints. They resemble the faces of old icons, which depict: Nicholas the Wonderworker, Sergius of Radonezh, George the Victorious.
He depicted Saint Nesterov on the left and on the right the people who came to Christ and his helpers to repent and tell him about their troubles. He wrote his beloved heroes: wanderers, monks, girls, children, with real people. There is even a sister and his mother. He portrayed them as supporting a sick girl.
The painting symbolizes the native Orthodox faith. Only in this way people of different times will be able to unite and be saved. The work tells about the times when Christianity was just beginning to emerge.
Therefore, the temple here displays the whole earth, in the snowy decoration of forests and fields, and not a gilded church. Critics attacked the artist with great fury. They defeated the contents of the picture to smithereens.
According to them, in the picture the image of Christ and the saints bear the complete discrepancy of the official church. Since Christ is depicted in the image of an ordinary person.
Even, according to Leo Tolstoy, the image of Christ is similar to the Italian tenor. The picture was considered sonorous and unsuccessful. In the picture, the artist managed to capture his feelings about the politics of those times in Russia.
The whole picture is permeated with motives of repentance. And it is no accident that in 1905 Nesterov became a member of the Union of the Russian people.
Woman With A Head Of Roses