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Our Top 10 Favorite Russian Christian Paintings (A Very Subjective List)

Some famous masterpieces, and some, we promise, you've never heard of.

This article from our archives was first published on RI in May 2019

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.

About The 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.

 'Religious Procession in Kursk' (Ilya Repin - 1883)

See more of Repin's work at the Art Renewal Center.

'The Appearance of Christ' (Alexander Ivanov - 1857)

See more of Ivanov's work at Google Arts & Culture

'Jesus and the Adulteress' (Vasily Polenov - 1888)

'The Vision of Young Bartholomew' (Mikhail Nesterov - 1890)

See more of Nesterov's work at the Art Renewal Center.

'Holy Russia' (Mikhail Nesterov, 1906)

See more of Nesterov's work at the Art Renewal Center

'The battle of Kulikovo' (Ryzhenko, 2005)

See more of Ryzhenko's works at Allart.biz

'Eternal Russia' (Ilya Glazunov, 1988)

See more of Glazunov's works at Glazunov.ru

'Attacking a Church on Easter Eve' (Ilya Glazunov - 1999)

See more of Glazunov's works at Glazunov.ru

'Religious Procession at Vodoosvyaschenie Village' (Ivan Trutnev - 1858)

'Nikita Pustosvyat Disputing with Patriarch Joachim on Matters of Faith' (Vasily Perov - 1881)

'The sinner' (Genrikh Semiradsky - 1873)

'Burning of christians' (Genrikh Semiradsky - 1876)

'Sts Anthony and Theodosius, founders of Kiev Lavra' (Sayda Afonina - 1995)

'The Seige of the Trinity Sergius Lavra in Sergiev Posad' (Vasiliy Vereshagin - 1891)

'A funeral for the fallen' (Vasiliy Vereshagin, 1877 - 1879)

'Hermogen in the events of Distemper' (Morgun V. - 2008)

'Saint Leonty preaches to the Pagans in Rostov' (Morgun E. - 2008)

'Prince Vladimir Chooses the Faith' (Filatov - 2007)

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