“Lisichka”, Mikhail Vasilievich Nesterov – overview of the painting

“Lisichka”, Mikhail Vasilievich Nesterov – overview of the painting
"Lisichka", Mikhail Vasilievich Nesterov - overview of the painting - 1

  • Posted by Mikhail Vasilievich Nesterov
  • Museum: Tretyakov Gallery
  • Year: 1914

Overview of the painting :

Lisichka – Mikhail Vasilievich Nesterov. Oil on canvas. 101 x 127 cm

   In 1901, Mikhail Vasilievich Nesterov made a pilgrimage to the monastery on the Solovetsky Islands. The artist was impressed by the journey for a long time. He was struck by the spirit of peacefulness and the atmosphere of the unity of man with flora and fauna, which was no longer met in urbanized Russia. Nesterov was always distinguished by a reverent attitude towards Russian nature, and seeing the pristine Solovetsky Territory, he found his own utopia, which inspired him to paint “Lysichka”.

   The canvas was completed in 1914, it is noteworthy that the picture had several names. The original name sounded like “Peace is on earth, favor is in man” and was soon replaced by “Three Elders”. But among the people, the work is more often referred to as “Lysichka”, because without an elegant animal there would be no color and peaceful mood.

   The genre picture shows a everyday episode from the life of charitable elders. Mikhail Vasilievich wanted to show his vision of paradise on earth – a pious life in harmony with nature, where every divine creation is a human brother. Blessed hermits cause empathy in the viewer due to their landing and simplicity, while many saints are traditionally depicted inaccessible and alienated from the whole worldly.

   The canvas is visually divided into two parts, on the first is the lawn where the righteous are sitting, on the second – a dense forest. The master demonstrated the idyll of this place, erasing the line between wildlife and human habitat. The symbol of such unity was the fox, which calmly goes to people.

   It is worth paying attention to the color scheme of the picture. The Nester masterfully handed over to a palette of flowers of harsh nightly landscapes and the picturesque northern sunset.

   You can also interpret the number of elders on the canvas as a sacred message, because the number “3” in Christianity is of particular importance.