“Great tonsure”, Nesterov – overview of the painting

“Great tonsure”, Nesterov – overview of the painting
"Great tonsure", Nesterov - overview of the painting - 1

  • Posted by Mikhail Vasilievich Nesterov
  • Museum: Russian Museum
  • Year: 1898

Overview of the painting :

The great tonsure is Mikhail Vasilievich Nesterov. 1898. Oil on canvas. 178×195

   The work of Mikhail Vasilievich Nesterov (1862-1942) reflects the deep spiritual and religious quest of his era. The author of numerous paintings and monumental temple paintings (in particular, the Marfo-Mariinsky monastery in Moscow), Nesterov earned high praise from his contemporaries.

   The painting “Great tonsure” is one of the works of the cycle conceived by the painter . While still a student at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, Nesterov became interested in the novels of P. AND. Melnikova-Pechersky “In the Forests” and “On the Mountains” (whose son, by the way, was a fellow artist). The idea of the series was not so much to illustrate the literary work as to comprehend human destiny, female share.

   Tragic love and the ungraced impulses of the dreamy soul of the heroine become the reason for her departure to the monastery. According to the plot of the novel, a girl who did not receive comfort in the monastery ministry should have rushed to the Volga, but the Nesterov did not write this story-so-so-soaring story. Having stopped at complete humility to the theme of “Great tonsure”, the artist could not go against the Christian commandments and disrupt the spiritual path of the Orthodox man. A girl in black vestments, supported by two nuns, in this unfolding sad procession completes her stay “in the world.”. Soon she will become one of the nuns. The obedient girl walking ahead with a candle in her hand personifies the image of an unceasing hope for the future salvation of the soul in prayers.

   One of the characteristic features of non-steroic creativity is its landscape backgrounds, full of subtle poetry and harmony with the notes of the internal states of heroes. For the work “Great tonsure” Nesterov received the title of academician.