One of the greatest Christian paintings ever, and one of Russia's most popular and famous works.
A few of the most famous Russian Christian artists:
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.
This was the first picture artist, “thematic” picture of the cycle from the life of Christ, which Polenov created for thirteen years from 1896 to 1909
The size of the picture - 59" x 107"
Link to high resolution image.
Polenov read sacred texts, works on the history of religion of Ernst Renan and other liberal Protestant theologians. In the explanatory manuscript to the painting “Christ among the Teachers,” the artist describes in detail each character, reflecting on what Jesus, the young man, could perceive from these Old Testament wise men. Polenov unfolds in the picture the scene of the mutual exchange of the wisdom of Christ - the bearer of the new religious doctrine, and Hillel - the representative of the old Jewish teachings.
The basis for the picture was an episode in Luke's Gospel (Chapter II, verses 40-52), which tells about the childhood of Jesus. This picture is the next in chronology of the life of Christ (the whole cycle could include, according to various sources, 65 to 72 pictures) after the picture “Was filled with wisdom”, where he is depicted diligently comprehending knowledge.
Currently picture is in the collection of the State Tretyakov Gallery.
Vasily Dmitrievich Polenov (1 June 1844 – 18 July 1927) was a Russian landscape painter associated with the Peredvizhniki movement of realist artists. His contemporaries would call him the “Knight of Beauty” as he embodied both european and russian traditions of painting. His vision of life was summarized as following: “Art should promote happiness and joy”. As a painter and a humanist, he would truly believe in the civilizing mission of Art, Culture and Education.
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.