'Christ's Appearance to Mary Magdalene' ( Alexander Ivanov, 1835) - GREAT RUSSIAN CHRISTIAN ART

A few of the most famous Russian Christian artists:

19th C:    Repin       Ivanov       Polenov       Kramskoy       Nesterov       Semiradsky   

Contemporary:    Ryzhenko       Glazunov       Morgun       Afonina      

Our top 10 favorites: A purely subjective list of paintings and artists we love.

To see all of the over 100 paintings in this series, click here.

About this series: As we learned about Russia's traditional faith, Russian Orthodox Christianity, we discovered an enormous, mostly forgotten treasure of striking Christian paintings, mostly unknown in the West, starting from approximately the early 1800s, and continuing to this day.

So far we have cataloged over 150 images, and are discovering more all the time. We will gradually be getting them all online. If you know of a painter or sculptor which we can add to the series, please let us know in the form below. You can see the entire list of what we already have online here.

'Christ's Appearance to Mary Magdalene after the Resurrection' is an oil painting on canvas, measuring 95" × 126", by the Russian painter Alexander Andreyevich Ivanov (1806–1858).

Link to high resolution image.

The artist painted the painting in the first years of his stay in Italy. He was supposed to be one of the attempts to later take on works with a large number of depicted characters. The theme of the painting is a scene taken from the New Testament: "Noli me tangere", and thus the appearance of the Resurrected Mary Magdalene . This meeting has been the subject of artistic performances since the early Middle Ages, both in sculpture and in painting. 

Ivanov presented Christ in motion; indeed, the entire figure of the Risen One seems to say: Do not stop me. Dressed in a slightly thrown shoulder of himation, he raises his right hand over the figure of Magdalene. Jesus has bare feet that show nails. The right side of the Savior is also marked by the Roman spear .

Maria Magdalena is dressed in red. A white scarf is around the neck. He has sandals on his feet. Her attitude is full of tension. She has both hands drawn towards the person she has previously taken as a gardener . The scene takes place in the garden at dawn. The background of the figure is dark, it turns into total blackness, which highlights the glow that emanates from the person of the living Christ.

Russian Museum


Alexander Ivanov was born on 28 July 1806 to a family of artists. He was only eleven years old when he entered as a student in the Imperial Academy of Arts, where he studied under the guidance of his father, Andrei Ivanovich Ivanov, a professor of painting. Ivanov was awarded two silver medals and in 1824 received a gold medal.

About the Great Russian Christian Art series:

Russia has a wonderfully rich heritage of Christian and Bible-themed painting which reached its zenith in the second half of the 19th century, as part of the realist school. Many of the canvases are enormous, filling an entire wall of a large public hall. Some of them took decades to complete. They are a striking and beautiful testimony to how deeply ingrained Christianity is in Russian history, culture, philosophy, thought, indeed, in her very soul. They are a delight to behold.

As Russia emerges as a leader in the return to traditionalism, this style of painting is again in vogue, and there are also several contemporary Christian painters creating extraordinary canvases. Indeed, Moscow has an excellent art academy dedicated to this style, a topic we covered in the profile of Ilya Glazunov, a leading, recently deceased painter in this genre.  See: A Conservative Russian Lion With Real Mass Influence – The Painter Ilya Glazunov

Many of these paintings and artists are hardly known in the West, dismissed by the secular, atheist, globalist modern 'art' vogue. We are delighted to bring you this series, which consists of several dozens of works. You can see all of the works in this series by clicking here.

We think you’ll enjoy them as much as we do.

  • Shqip
  • العربية
  • English
  • Français
  • Deutsch
  • Bahasa Indonesia
  • Italiano
  • Português
  • Русский
  • Español