MV Nesterov, as well as FM Dostoyevsky. believed that for Russia, salvation “from the people will come out of faith and humility of it,” and on his canvases sought to establish a real moral ideal, in search of which he often turned to the past of Russia. And I found this ideal in Sergius Radonezhsky – the founder of the Trinity – Sergius Monastery, the great ascetic, miracle worker, collector and intercessor of the Russian land.
Often visited in the Trinity-Sergius Lavra, Nesterov entered the world of popular traditions and beliefs associated with Sergius of Radonezh.
The image of Sergius of Radonezh did not cease to excite the artist throughout his life. For more than 50 years of creative work Nesterov created 15 great works dedicated to his favorite hero. The first in this series was the picture of the vision of the boy Bartholomew. Then followed the “Youth of St. Sergius” (1892-1897), the triptych “The Works of St. Sergius” (1896-1897), “The Monk Sergius” (1898) and “The Farewell of the Monk Sergius with Prince Dmitry of Don” (sketches, 1898-1899). The last picture was not completely written by the artist, it remained only in sketches.
Sergius for the artist – not a schmith, not an ascetic, but a historical figure – “hegumen of the Russian land.” MV Nesterov did not study his deeds, not according to his life, but from chronicles and from chronicles, that is why there are no shadows of repentance and prayerful ecstasy in Nester’s hermits and saints, and they live not in a sooty cell, but among the great Russian Nature. The artist himself said this: “I did not write... and did not want to write a story in colors.” I wrote the life of a good Russian man of the fourteenth century, sensitive to nature and its beauty, who loved his native land in his own way and strove in his own way towards truth. a legend, built in the old years by my native people about people whom he marked with love and memory. “
Sergius is the Creator! Sergius – a living connection with the Higher World!
If a fiery image is his all-human, the work he has built up is the work of the State of the Russian State. At all turning points in history, with all the upheavals that hit the Earth, the Russian, ineffable power of the Monk and the stronghold of spiritual culture, laid by them, are an indestructible stronghold of spiritual forces.
We have seen how for centuries the Reverend’s power constantly harbored and preserved the beloved Russian Land.
But history repeats itself, and who can say that the years of collapse, persecution and blasphemous destruction of the sacred sites that have come about since the beginning of the twentieth century will not be replaced by a great, yet unprecedented spiritual upsurge that in its spontaneity will exceed all its previous exploits?
“One of the distinguishing features of the great people,” says Klyuchevsky, “is his ability to rise to his feet after the fall, no matter how hard his humiliation, but the hour breaks, he will gather his confused moral forces and embody them in one great person or several great people, who will take him to the historical road that he left, temporarily, straight. “