So rich in all the arts, Russia produced a treasure of great painting, mostly in the 2nd half of the 19th century, but also, significantly, since the end of Communism. On Sunday mornings we are pleased to bring you the excellent Great Russian Christian Art series from Russian Faith, a site about the extraordinary Christian renaissance in Russia, manifested through the rebirth of the Russian Orthodox Church.
Russian Faith has selected works with Christian themes, but all of these artists created magnificent secular works too, and they are popular and well-known to the Russian public. These paintings give great insight into Russian history, culture, religion and psychology and are huge fun to view. Enjoy.
From Russian Faith:
As we work our way through an enormous cache of fascinating Russian Christian paintings, we can't help but fall in love with some of them.
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.
'Smashing of the Church at Easter Night' - a painting by I. S. Glazunov. Finished by the author in Moscow in 1999. This picture was called by the press - "the last great picture of the XX century". 'Smashing of the Church at Easter Night' is an oil painting on canvas, measuring 157″ × 314″
Link to high resolution image.
The canvas depicts a deadly clash of two elements, personifying the eternal struggle of Good and Evil. The time of action - the beginning of the 20s of the XX century. An international gang bursts into the Orthodox church, where believers of all classes of Russia have gathered, not yet suspecting what they are to experience.
In the center of the composition is a commissar in a leather jacket with a revolver holding a dog with a St. George cross on his neck on a leash. His hating gaze through the pince-nez is directed to the right side of the picture at the crucifixion of Christ. And in his cruelty is read the anticipation of reaching the desired goal, once expressed in the cry of the Masonic “oracle” Fleury: 'Down with the crucified! You, who have been keeping the world under your yoke for 18 centuries! Your kingdom is over! '
Ilya Glazunov (10 June 1930 – 9 July 2017) was a Russian artist from Saint Petersburg. He was the founder of the Russian Academy of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture in Moscow where he also served as a rector up until his death. He held the title of People's Artist of Russia.
Ilya Glazunov's paintings have mostly historic or religious themes. Famous works include Russia the Eternal, The 20th Century Mystery, The Ruining of the Temple on Easter Night, and illustrations to the works of Fyodor Dostoyevsky.
More 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.