“Vision to the lad Varfolomei”, Mikhail Vasilievich Nesterov – overview of the painting
- Posted by Mikhail Vasilievich Nesterov
- Museum: Tretyakov Gallery
- Year: 1889-1890
Overview of the painting :
The vision of the lad Varfolomei is Mikhail Vasilievich Nesterov. 1889-1890. Oil on canvas. 160 x 211 cm
In 1889, Mikhail Nesterov was mistaken for creating a series of paintings dedicated to Sergius Radonezhsky. The first and most significant work of the famous cycle was the painting “Vision of the lad Varfolomei.”.
The canvas was presented at the eighteenth exhibition of mobile workers and made a lot of noise. As the artist himself recalled, “they judged the picture by a terrible court.”. The main attacks came from Stasov, Miesoedov, Suvorin, etc. The work in one fell swooped the rationalistic foundations that the mobile phones had so hard to root. What a mysticism, what a halo over his head? Stasov spent a lot of effort to dissuade Tretyakov from buying a “accidental canvas at the exhibition”.
The image of Sergius Radonezhsky master was not chosen by chance – for Nesterov this religious person was the embodiment of high morality. It was in this face that he sought reassurance, experiencing a grave tragedy, the death of his wife during childbirth.
The picture is based on the plot from the biography “Sergius of the Reverend.”. The young lad Bartholomew, who went into the field for horses on the orders of his father, met an angel in the image of a foreigner. The angel prayed under the tree. The boy waited patiently. At the end of the prayer, the elder blessed Bartholomew and asked what he wanted to ask the Lord, to which the boy replied that he wanted to become literate. The angel promised that the humble lad would know the letter, extending part of the prosphora to that. This is the moment we see in the picture of Nesterov.
The remaining sketches show the researchers how long the artist was looking for the right angle, composition. One cannot but note the lively, rich landscape, which has become a decoration for this story. In the union of the religious plot and the Russian landscape, Nesterov saw the idea of uniting his people. Here you can feel the harmony of nature and the humble human soul. Until the end of his days, Mikhail Nesterov considered “Vision” his best work.