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.
The Appearance of Christ Before the People or The Apparition of the Messiah is an oil painting on canvas, measuring 540 cm × 750 cm, by the Russian painter Alexander Andreyevich Ivanov (1806–1858).
The painting has been called his magnum opus and took twenty years to complete (1837–1857). The narrative of the painting is based on the third chapter of the Gospel of Matthew, also described in the first chapter of the Gospel according to John.
The size of the picture - 210'' × 300'' (Oil on canvas)
Link to high resolution image.
The painting alludes to several stories in the Bible. In the center of the painting John the Baptist, wearing an animal skin, is standing on the banks of the River Jordan. He points towards a figure in the distance, approaching the scene. To the left stands the young John the Apostle, behind him St. Peter, and further on Andrew the Apostle and Nathaniel.
In the foreground we see people who watch the scene unfold but are undecided what to do, both young and old men. In the center there is a wealthy man who was too rich to follow Christ and a slave, about whom Ivanov remarked that he meant to depict people who experienced, after a life in despair and suffering, "joy for the first time".
To the right there is a figure, that stands nearest to Jesus, who was depicted as the painter's good friend, the writer Gogol. Before the wanderer with a staff seated not far from John, is a figure seated with a red headgear. The figure is a self-portrait; the artist has captured his own features on the canvas.
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.
Painting displayed in Moscow
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.
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