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Viktor Mikhailovich Vasnetsov is a famous Russian artist, widely known in Russia and abroad as the creator of masterpieces on epics about heroes and Russian folk tales. But few people now know what contribution Vasnetsov's religious painting made to the development of Russian Orthodox culture. Vasnetsov's father was a priest, and Viktor Mikhailovich himself graduated from the Vyatka Theological Seminary in 1867, after which he continued his studies of the art of painting that he loved at that time at the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts.
In 1885 Vasnetsov received A.V. Prakhov from a professor at St. Petersburg University an invitation to paint the arch of the Vladimir Cathedral in Kiev, which was carried out under the patronage of the famous Russian patron Savva Mamontov. And the artist is immersed in this work with all his ardor and ardent desire to serve God and the Fatherland, within 10 years he creates several hundred sketches and more than 1000 square meters. m frescoes on the walls of the temple, many of which are regarded as masterpieces of the Russian icon-painting school, and the especially unique and unique in its spirituality image of the Mother of God with the Baby is now called the Mother of God Vasnetsov.
In the image of the Savior Vasnetsov creates a separate Passion Cycle, which stands out in an independent iconographic style and, in fact, becomes the reference peak of the religious and aesthetic ideals of our time. His mosaics on the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, the carrying and removal from the cross, the descent of Jesus to hell, the fresco Joy of the righteous about the Lord, as well as the lost frescoes from the Church of the Savior on Waters in St. Petersburg, on which only sketches remain, are encouraging with truth By faith, many generations are the greatest heritage of the Orthodox Church.
The Crucifixion of Christ painting was painted a little later than his main works on the design of temples in Kiev, Darmstadt (1901), in Gus-Khrustalny (since 1895), and therefore differs significantly from most such works. If most of the biblical creations, according to critical assessments of specialists, are often overloaded with abstract details, bends of landscapes or clothes, then the Crucifixion of Christ is as concise, restrained as possible in the colors and in the characters present in the picture. Its objects can literally be described in a few words. In the center of the picture is depicted Jesus Christ crucified on the cross, who, judging by the calm, pacified expression of a haggard face and a halo over his head, has already died, Mary is sitting at his bloody feet, gripping his hands in prayer, and next to him the Apostle John, who is struggling to restrain sobs from grief , to whom the newly dying teacher entrusted the care of the Mother of God and named him her son. Almost the entire background of the picture is black-brown, and only in the distance the horizon barely brightens, portending the imminent Resurrection of the Savior and the Joy of the righteous about the Lord. Now the picture is in the Museum of Fine Arts in Karelia, Petrozavodsk.
For work in the Warsaw Church in 1912 Vasnetsov was granted the title of nobility, in 1913 - the rank of full state councilor.