“Christ and Nicodemus”, Alexander Andreevich Ivanov – overview of the painting

“Christ and Nicodemus”, Alexander Andreevich Ivanov – overview of the painting
“Christ and Nicodemus”, Alexander Andreevich Ivanov - overview of the painting - 1

    • Posted by Alexander Andreevich Ivanov
    • Museum: Tretyakov Gallery
    • Year: 1855

Overview of the painting :

Christ and Nicodemus – Alexander Andreevich Ivanov. Watercolor on paper. 26.5 x 39.5 cm

An outstanding painter, a representative of Russian classicism of the 19th century, Alexander Andreevich Ivanov lived most of his life in Italy. There he works, devotes a lot of time to spiritual development, reflects, sketches, paints, landscapes, sketches on mythological and religious topics, and is interested in icon painting.

During this period, his famous “Bible plots” appear. A cycle of more than two hundred water sheets, as well as a huge number of drafts, consists of a cycle of more than two hundred water sheets.

One of the best sketches – “Jesus and Nicodemus” – was performed in 1855 on brown paper with watercolors and whites.

A well-known biblical story about how the teaching of Christ affected the soul of Nicodemus, a man very educated for his time, one of the Jewish leaders. The Messiah clarifies the meaning of baptism, speaks of a new spiritual rebirth, that without changing oneself one cannot enter the kingdom of heaven. Nicodemus is amazed at what he heard, he reveals simple truths for himself, and, in the end, becomes a follower and disciple of Christ.

The picture shows the moment when Nicodemus just arrived, he appeared secretly, after his artificially pleasing, he wants to win this man, whom they talk a lot about in the city. Jesus is open to conversation, a hand stretched with his palm up testifies to this.

Brown paper is the main background, the center is the Messiah in red attire. One can easily imagine how magnificent this sketch would look in painting on the wall.

And Ivanov thought globally – he dreamed that the walls of a public building, not a temple or church, would be painted according to his sketches. But his idea was not realized and the sketches remained, in general, little known, although, according to experts of art, many of them are simply unique artistic works in their semantic content and execution.

The artist’s approach to the execution of stories is interesting and unusual – he seeks to portray biblical images not as canonical saints, but as historical heroes, real, but highly spiritual.