The composition of Glazunov’s painting “The Defeat of the Temple on Easter Night”

The composition of Glazunov’s painting “The Defeat of the Temple on Easter Night”

Great this work is not the size of the canvas (8×4 meters), but above all the monumental design. On the canvas, a deadly clash of two elements is depicted, embodying the age-old struggle between Good and Evil. Time of action – the beginning of the 20-ies. In the Orthodox church, where representatives of all classes of pre-revolutionary Russia gathered, an international gang rushes in. In the center of the composition is a commissar in a leather jacket with a Mauser, holding a dog on a leash with a St. George’s cross on his neck. His hateful gaze through his pince-nez is aimed at the crucifixion of Christ on the right side of the picture.

In all the cruelty of his appearance read the anticipation of the achievement of the desired goal, once expressed in the cry of

Freemason’s Masonic “oracle”: “Down with the crucified! You who have held the world for eighteen centuries under your yoke! Your kingdom is over!” God is not needed! “

Behind him rallied, it seems, all universal rabbi. A sailor with a rifle and a machine gun, a tool of mass executions; A character who lets out a pig with a church cross from a bag; The harlot in the general’s greatcoat thrown over his naked body; a woman in an ermine coat, mined in the implementation of the motto “Robbing loot!”; “revolutionary family” in the wedding crowns, on which pentagrams are pinned. It is known how during the “great French revolution” the altar of the temple was occupied by a naked prostitute. It is also known that the mercenary forces of the revolutions became mercenaries – the Chinese, Latvians and others, who were particularly ruthless in their reprisals against the indigenous population. Here and here we see a Chinese woman in an officer’s cap.

Bloodthirsty black mass, backed by horses rushing into the temple (remember the horses of the Apocalypse), falls on those who came to glorify the Resurrection of the Savior, the most holy Orthodox holiday. “Come,” extends a servant of the Church of Christ in an angry gesture. The people around

him are that Russia, which took upon itself the most devastating blow of satanic power. It is worth looking at the faces of these people in order to feel what was Russia undergoing crucifixion, with its priests and fools for Christ’s sake, the nobility, the army and merchants, the simple plowmen, with all those who represented the state building on the principles of Orthodoxy, autocracy and nationality.

How amazing in their expressiveness are women’s faces, bearing the stamp of tragedy from the accomplished mockery! How individual each image and thus as if recognizable at first sight or causing certain associations with known images.

The recognition of time and its characteristic images is explained by the deepest penetration of the artist into the historical fabric of the era. The atmosphere of action and images of the picture are recreated on the basis of the rare wealth of historical and artistic materials collected by him throughout his life. Among them are rare domestic and foreign publications, such as the three-volume album of portraits of the Russian aristocracy, published in Spain in 1987; miraculously preserved generic collections; own sketches from nature, made in the student years; images of real people who survived revolutionary hard times and subsequent “great fractures.” Naturally, the picture reflects biographical motifs. Those who are familiar with I. Glazunov’s confession book “Russia Crucified”, in an officer with a candle and a woman standing next to him can recognize the artist’s parents,

The tragic action taking place in the temple takes place against the backdrop of evangelical plots that were imprinted on the walls of a defiled church.

The earthly in the picture echoes with the heavenly, and this roll calls us to think more deeply about what is happening, to relate the past to our days, to think about the future.


The composition of Glazunov’s painting “The Defeat of the Temple on Easter Night”