The theme today is “Tsars in Russian history”. This painting depicts the wedding of the last tsar in 1894.
Friday, 29 February 2008
When one compensates for differences in scale (that is, a modest ordinary service in comparison to a lush regal setting), there is not much difference in the two weddings. That is, in Russian Orthodoxy, we have not changed; we have not suffered a “Vatican II” as the Catholics did. Of course, there are unrepresentative intellectuals who wish to “improve” things, but, they are a minority, and the faithful, largely, ignore them. I have every confidence that the ’60s true believers amongst us shall be routed soon, and we can get back to the serious business of preserving our faith complete and unchanged. Unfortunately, these unrepresentative voices predominate on the Internet, although there are shining exemplars of traditional faith here on the web such as Fr John Whiteford, Fr Jason (I am SORRY, I am writing from memory, and I forgot his last name! First sign of Alzheimer’s?), and the great monks from Vashon Island (kudos, Fr Tryphon!). Do ignore such as Frederica Matthewes-Greene and Joseph Honeycutt, they are peddling Protestantism with an Orthodox veneer, sadly.
I thank the inimitable Sasha Ressetar for the photo, he is in the back holding a candle (as he should! my praises to a brave man who keeps the faith without diminution).
Tsar Ivan Grozny After Killing His Son on 15 November 1581
This is one of the most famous paintings by Repin, and rightfully so. The portrayal of the horror of the tsar at what he has done is depicted ruthlessly and without pretense. One of the great paintings of the world, I say. Raw emotion… unflinchingly put down for the ages.
Ilya Repin. The Reception of the Freeholding Elders with Tsar Aleksandr Aleksandrovich in the Courtyard of the Petrovsky Palace in Moscow. 1886
The Reception of the Freeholding Elders with Tsar Aleksandr Aleksandrovich in the Courtyard of the Petrovsky Palace in Moscow (Ilya Repin, 1886)
What better “contrast” piece than one illustrating the installation of the first Romanov tsar in 1613? Interestingly enough, Tsar Mikhail Romanov was installed at the Ipatievsky Monastir (Ipatiev Monastery) in Kostroma, whilst Tsar St Nikolai Aleksandrovich and his family and retainers were murdered at the Ipatievsky Dom (Ipatiev House) in Yekaterinburg. Note the deliberately archaic lettering around the border, done in the style of old Russian icons.