Monday, July 11, 2016

13 Paintings, RELIGIOUS ART - Paintings from the Russian Church, with footnotes

Ilya Yefimovich Repin (5 August 1844 – 29 September 1930) 

Ilya Repin,  (1844–1930)
Easter Procession in the Region of Kursk, c. 1880 and 1883
Oil on canvas
175 × 280 cm
The State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow.

Religious Procession in Kursk Province (also known as Easter Procession in the District of Kursk or A Religious Procession in Kursk Gubernia') is a large oil on canvas painting by the Russian realist painter and sculptor Ilya Repin (1844–1930). The work shows a seething, huddled mass attending the annual religious procession carrying the famous icon Our Lady of Kursk from its home at the Korennaya Monastery to the nearby city of Kursk in western Russia.

Ilya Repin,  (1844–1930)
Easter Procession in the Region of Kursk, c. 1880 and 1883
Shrine carried in procession (detail)

The procession is led through a dusty landscape by robed, Orthodox priests holding icons, festoons and banners over their heads. Behind them follow a crowd mostly of peasants, but ranging from beggars and cripples, police and military officers to figures from the provincial elite. Religious Procession led to controversy when first exhibited due to the icon being held by a man who appears to be drunk. More

Ilya Yefimovich Repin (5 August 1844 – 29 September 1930) was the most renowned Russian artist of the 19th century. He played a major role in bringing Russian art into the mainstream of European culture. His major works include Barge Haulers on the Volga (1873), Religious Procession in Kursk Province (1883) and Reply of the Zaporozhian Cossacks (1880–91).

Ilya Repin,  (1844–1930)
St Nicholas saves condemned Sailors

Repin was born in Chuguyev, in the Kharkov Governorate (now Ukraine) of the Russian Empire into a military family. He entered military school in 1854 and in 1856 studied under Ivan Bunakov, a local icon painter. He began to paint around 1860. In 1874–1876 he showed at the Salon in Paris and at the exhibitions of the Itinerants' Society in Saint Petersburg. He was awarded the title of academician in 1876.

Ilya Repin,  (1844–1930)

In 1901 he was awarded the Legion of Honour. In 1911 he traveled to the World Exhibition in Italy, where his painting 17 October 1905 and his portraits were displayed in their own separate room. In 1916 Repin worked on his book of reminiscences, Far and Near. 

Ilya Repin,  (1844–1930)

He welcomed the Russian Revolution of 1917. Celebrations were held in 1924 in Kuokkala to mark Repin's 80th birthday, followed by an exhibition of his works in Moscow. In 1925 a jubilee exhibition of his works was held in the Russian Museum in Leningrad. Repin died in 1930 and was buried at the Penates. More

Konstantin Makovsky, (1839–1915)
The Bulgarian Martyresses, c. 1877
Oil on canvas
207 × 141 cm (81.5 × 55.5 in)
National Arts Museum of the Republic of Belarus

"The Bulgarian Martyresses", 1877 painting by the Russian painter Konstantin Makovsky, depicting the rape of Bulgarian women by Africanised Ottoman bashi-bazouks during the suppression of the April Uprising a year earlier, served to mobilise public support for the Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878) waged with the aim of liberating the Bulgarians. More

The April Uprising was an insurrection organised by the Bulgarians in the Ottoman Empire from April to May 1876, which indirectly resulted in the re-establishment of Bulgaria in 1878. Тhe regular Ottoman Army and irregular bashi-bazouk units brutally suppressed the rebels, resulting in a public outcry in Europe, with many famous intellectuals condemning the Ottoman atrocities and supporting the oppressed Bulgarian population.

The 1876 uprising involved only those parts of the Ottoman territories populated predominantly by Bulgarians. The emergence of Bulgarian national sentiments was closely related to the re-establishment of the independent Bulgarian Orthodox Church in 1870. Together with notions of romantic nationalism, the rise of national awareness became known as the Bulgarian National Revival. More

Konstantin Yegorovich Makovsky (June 20 1839 — September 17 1915) was an influential Russian painter, affiliated with the "Peredvizhniki (Wanderers)", a group of Russian realist artists who formed an artists' cooperative in protest of academic restrictions. Many of his historical paintings, such as The Russian Bride's Attire (1889), showed an idealized view of Russian life of prior centuries. He is often considered a representative of a Salon art.

Konstantin Makovsky
Religious Procession in Cairo,
Oil on canvas, 
48x63,5 cm.

In 1851 Makovsky entered the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture where he became the top student, easily getting all the available awards. Although art was his passion, he also considered that his mother had wanted him to be a music composer. He set off to look for composers he could refer to, and first went to France. 

In 1858 Makovsky entered the Imperial Academy of Arts in Saint Petersburg. From 1860 he participated in the Academy's exhibitions. In 1863 Makovsky and thirteen other students held a protest against the Academy's setting of topics from Scandinavian mythology in the competition for the Large Gold Medal of Academia; all left the academy without a formal diploma.

Konstantin Makovsky
Transferring Sacred Carpet in Cairo, c. 1876
Oil on Canvas
315 x 214 cm

Makovsky became a member of a co-operative (artel) of artists led by Ivan Kramskoi, typically producing Wanderers paintings on everyday life. From 1870 he was a founding member of the Society for Traveling Art Exhibitions. He exhibited his works at both the Academia exhibitions and the Traveling Art Exhibitions of the Wanderers.

A significant change in his style occurred after traveling to Egypt and Serbia in the mid-1870s. His interests changed from social and psychological problems to the artistic problems of colors and shape.

In the 1880s he became a fashioned author of portraits and historical paintings. At the World's Fair of 1889 in Paris he received the Large Gold Medal for his paintings Death of Ivan the Terrible, The Judgement of Paris, and Demon and Tamara. He was one of the most highly appreciated and highly paid Russian artists of the time. Many democratic critics considered him as a renegade of the Wanderers' ideals, producing striking but shallow works, while others see him as a forerunner of Russian Impressionism.

Makovsky was killed in 1915 when his horse-drawn carriage was hit by an electric tram in Saint Petersburg. More

Mikhail Nesterov,  (1862–1942)
Taking the Veil, c. 1897 and 1898
Oil on canvas
State Russian Museum

Mikhail Vasilyevich Nesterov (1 May 1862 – 18 October 1942) was a major representative of religious symbolism in Russian art. He was a pupil of Pavel Chistyakov at the Imperial Academy of Arts, but later allied himself with the group of artists known as the Peredvizhniki. His canvas The Vision of the Youth Bartholomew (1890–91), depicting the conversion of medieval Russian Saint Sergei Radonezhsky, is often considered to be the earliest example of the Russian Symbolist style.

Mikhail Nesterov,  (1862–1942)
Crucifixion, c. 1912
Oil on canvas

From 1890 to 1910, Nesterov lived in Kiev and Saint Petersburg, working on frescoes in St. Vladimir's Cathedral and the Church on Spilt Blood, respectively. After 1910, he spent the remainder of his life in Moscow, working in the Marfo-Mariinsky Convent. As a devout Orthodox Christian, he did not accept the Bolshevik Revolution but remained in Russia until his death, painting the portraits of Ivan Ilyin, Ivan Pavlov, Ksenia Derzhinskaya, Otto Schmidt, and Vera Mukhina, among others. More

Mikhail Vasilyevich Nesterov (1 May 1862 – 18 October 1942)
Portrait of Archbishop Antony Khrapovitsky of Volyn, c. 1917
Oil on Canvas

Anthony (Khrapovitsky) of Kiev and Galicia was a famous 20th century hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church, a renowned author and theologian and, upon emigrating from Russia, the founding First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia. More

Charles Ricketts,  (2 October 1866 – 7 October 1931)
Salomé, 1925
The Bridgeman Art Library

Commenting about this painting, Ricketts says: 

Here is my scheme. I proposed a black floor – upon which Salomé’s white feet would show; this statement was meant to capture Wilde. The sky was to be a rich turquoise blue, and across by the perpendicular fall of strips of gilt matting, which should not touch the ground, and so form a sort of aerial tent above the terrace. Did Wilde actually suggest the division of the actors into separate masses of colour, today the idea seems mine! His was the scheme, however, that the Jews should be in yellow, the Romans were to be in purple, the soldiers in bronze green, and John in white. Over the dresses of Salomé, the discussions were endless: should she be black “like the night”? Silver, “like the moon”? Or – here the suggestion is Wilde’s – “green like a curious poisonous lizard”? I desired that the moonlight should fall upon the ground, the source not being seen; Wilde himself hugged the idea of some “strange dim pattern in the sky”.

Charles de Sousy Ricketts (2 October 1866 – 7 October 1931) was a versatile English artist, illustrator, author and printer, and is best known for his work as book designer and typographer from 1896 to 1904 with the Vale Press, and his work in the theatre as a set and costume designer.

Ricketts was born in Geneva to a French mother and an English father. He grew up mainly in France and Italy. He began his studies in art at the City and Guilds Technical Art School in Lambeth, in 1882, after both his parents had died.

Ricketts was one of two well-known illustrators of Oscar Wilde's work, the other being Aubrey Beardsley who worked on Salomé. He was friend and supporter of Wilde, for whom Ricketts painted, in the style of Clouet, the hero of Wilde's short story, 'The Portrait of Mr. W. H.' More