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

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

    • Posted by Mikhail Vasilievich Nesterov
    • Museum: Tretyakov Gallery
    • Year: 1917

Overview of the painting :

Philosophers (C. N. Bulgakov and P. AND. Florensky) – Mikhail Vasilievich Nesterov. 1917. Oil on canvas 123 x 125

A pair portrait of Nesterov, where S. is depicted. Bulgakov and A. Florensky is an expression of admiration for these outstanding personalities, pillars of Russian religious and philosophical thought.

Two philosophers did not “fell in unison” – their views differed, but it was this dualistic nature that the painter tried to portray. A quiet, calm evening, muffled colors of nature became scenery for a leisurely walk of two thinkers who wander together, but apart in a single desire to find the truth.

The figures of the heroes are as if written off under a carbon copy – the same lowered head, shoulders, body location. However, the faces are radically different. Florensky in a white cass embodies humility, humility to fate, while the stubborn face of Bulgakov tells the viewer about internal disruptions, rebellion, and opposition. Here is a stubborn look, and bending of eyebrows, a naughty whirlwind on the head of black slightly touched gray hair.

The landscape on the canvas seemed to fade – there are calm, peaceful tones: from pale green to yellow. At the top of the picture you can see the sky, which already managed to touch the pink rays of the sunset.

It is known that the picture was written in 1917, when revolutionary events literally turned the life of the country, sweeping away all the foundations, ideals and aspirations.

The life path of the heroes of Nesterov after the revolution, as well as their tireless search for truth, was not easy – Florensky, the unconditional genius of Russian thought, died in Stalinist camps, on Solovki in the 30s. Bulgakov was forced to immigrate by decree of Lenin on the famous “philosopher’s ship.”. At first he lived in Prague, and after in Paris, where he died of throat cancer in 1944. Witnesses of his death recall that in recent hours the face of an exiled theologian and philosopher finally brightened and became joyful, as if he had calmed down and found peace. With such a joyful face, he went into another world. Perhaps he still saw such an elusive and passionately sought truth …