Painting Nesterov “Philosophers”

In the portrait of SN Bulgakov and PA Florensky, entitled “Philosophers,” Nesterov wrote two outstanding representatives of religious and philosophical thought. The artist admired the world of ideas and feelings of Father Pavel Florensky in his famous book “The Pillar and Statement of Truth”. He chose the genre of a pair portrait to show two antinomic characters in a single search for truth. It’s getting dark. Slowly, two people are walking, immersed in conversation. In the same turns of the figures, the slopes of the head – different expressions. The priest in a white cassock is the embodiment of meekness, humility, resignation to fate. Another, in a black coat, Bulgakov is the personification of a violent resistance, a fierce rebellion. In his memoirs, Bulgakov revealed Nesterov’s intention: “It was, according to the artist’s intention, not only a portrait of two friends, but also a spiritual vision of the era. Both persons expressed the same comprehension, but in different ways, one of them as a vision of horror, the other as peace, joy, triumphant overcoming. It was the artistic clairvoyance of two images of the Russian apocalypse, on this and the other side of earthly existence, the first image in the struggle and confusion (and in my soul it...

belonged precisely to the fate of my friend), the other to the defeated accomplishment, which we now contemplate. “The fate of Florensky was tragic: this outstanding thinker, a scientist who anticipated many ideas of semiotics, died in Stalin’s camps in 1934. Bulgakov, who converted to Marxism from Orthodox theology, emigrated to France in 1923. on this and on the other side of earthly existence, the first image in the struggle and confusion (and in my soul it related specifically to the fate of my friend), the other to the defeated accomplishment, which we now contemplate. “The fate of Florensky was tragic: this outstanding thinker, a scientist who anticipated many ideas of semiotics, died in Stalin’s camps in 1934. Bulgakov, who converted to Marxism from Orthodox theology, emigrated to France in 1923. on this and on the other side of earthly existence, the first image in the struggle and confusion (and in my soul it related specifically to the fate of my friend), the other to the defeated accomplishment, which we now contemplate. “The fate of Florensky was tragic: this outstanding thinker, a scientist who anticipated many ideas of semiotics, died in Stalin’s camps in 1934. Bulgakov, who converted to Marxism from Orthodox theology, emigrated to France in 1923.


Painting Nesterov “Philosophers”