“First Christians in Kiev”, Vasily Grigoryevich Perov – overview of the painting

“First Christians in Kiev”, Vasily Grigoryevich Perov – overview of the painting
“First Christians in Kiev”, Vasily Grigoryevich Perov - overview of the painting - 1

    • Author: Vasily Grigoryevich Perov
    • Museum: Russian Museum
    • Year: 1880

Overview of the painting :

The first Christians in Kiev are Vasily Grigoryevich Perov. Oil on canvas. 156 x 243 cm
Vasily Perov is a famous artist of a realistic genre, but in the 70-80s of the 19th century, he increasingly turns to historical and religious topics.

How magnificent in its simplicity and depth was the plan of his canvas about the first Christians in Kiev. These wanderers do not yet have their refuge and they gather in hidden caves to pray, know, join and come to God.

The composition is carefully verified by the author. The scene is multi-figure, left and right knee-deep people. But immediately the central bright spot is striking, in which a group of praying Kievans is snatched and illuminated.

Their spiritualized faces, icon and gospel are illuminated not just by glare from the candle, but by divine light that bestows only those who believe in Christ.

The faces of those who had just come to the cave are dark, they are in dusk and they have not yet been touched by the insight from the prayers and the goodness of Christ.

This picture, rather, is not the transfer of real historical events, but their interpretation and understanding by the artist Perov himself.

His main idea that only that person who aspires God, fulfills his commandments and, of course, works to find a better life can be enlightened. This is allegorically indicated by such simple household items as a shovel and bucket, depicted by the author in the lower right corner of the canvas.