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.
The Vision to the Youth Bartholomew is a painting by the Russian artist Mikhail Nesterov, the first and best known work in his series on Sergius of Radonezh, a medieval Russian saint. It is considered "the inaugural work of the Russian Symbolist movement". The Vision to the Youth Bartholomew is an oil painting on canvas, measuring 63″ × 83″
Link to high resolution image.
The image of St. Sergius of Radonezh, near and dear to the artist since childhood, was embodiment of the moral ideal for Nesterov. Particularly important role Nesterov gave St. Sergius in rallying the Russian people. The painting illustrates an episode from "The Life of St. Sergius" by Epiphanius the Wise.
Sketches of landscapes the artist wrote in 1899 in the vicinity of the Trinity Sergius Lavra, settling in the village Komyakovo near Abramtsevo and Radonezh. Abramtzevo became one of the favorite places of Mikhail Nesterov.
There he finished top (landscape) part and went to Ufa. The artist hurried, because he was preparing for the XVIII Peredvizhniki exhibition and despite having the flu, continued to work actively. One day he felt dizzy, he stumbled (he stood on a small stool), fell and injured the canvas. It was impossible to continue the work, he needed a new canvas, which finally was brought
The painting, which caused the most contradictory opinions, became a sensation XVIII Peredvizhniki exhibition and was bought by Pavel Tretyakov for his gallery. Until the end of his days, the artist was convinced that "The Vision of the Youth Bartholomew" remained the best of his work. In old age, the artist used to say:
"I won't be the one who lives. "Youth Bartholomew" will. If in thirty, in fifty years after my death, he will still be telling people something - that means he is alive, which means, I am alive."
A later version of the painting, dating from 1922, was sold at Sotheby's in 2007 for $ 4,3 mln.
Mikhail Vasilyevich Nesterov (1862 - 1942) was a Russian and Soviet painter; associated with the Peredvizhniki and Mir Iskusstva. He was one of the first exponents of Symbolist art in Russia. He was born to a strongly patriarchal merchant family. His father was a draper and haberdasher, but always had a strong interest in history and literature. As a result, he was sympathetic to his son's desire to be an artist, but insisted that he acquire practical skills first and, in 1874, he was sent to Moscow where he enrolled at the Voskresensky Realschule. Two years later, he entered the Imperial Academy of Fine Arts, where he worked with Pavel Chistyakov.
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.