St Noe the Forefather (Russian, Rybinsk, late 17th to early 18th century)
It rained for 40 days and 40 nights… remember?
A Girl with a Dog (Konstantin Makovsky, no date (1860s?))
Konstantin Makovky (1838-1915) is a fairly prolific artist completely unknown in the West except for his A Boyar Wedding Feast of the 17th Century (1883). Therefore, here are painting of varying genres from all stages of his career.
This illustrates one of the most pivotal episodes in Russian history. The Poles invaded Russia during the Smuta (Time of Troubles) after the death of Tsar Boris Gudunov. They attempted to place a Catholic Pole on the Russian throne and wanted to ram the Unia down the throats of the Russian people, to make them submit to the Pope of Rome. Quite obviously, this led to a Russian national awakening. The opolchenie (militia) came to arms under the leadership of the boyar Dmitri Pozharsky and the butcher Kuzma Minin. The Poles, after hard fighting and a long siege, were defeated, and Russia and Orthodoxy were preserved from destruction. Any time you hear a Pole downing Russia, remember, they started the fight, we finished it. They attempted to force their religion upon us, and we not only rejected them, we threw them out. There’s a reason for their hatred… they attempted to murder us as a people and we foiled them. Sic semper tyrannis!
Maslenitsa on Admiralteyskaya Square in St Petersburg (Konstantin Makovsky, 1869)
Maslenitsa (“Butter Week”) is a week-long blowout and party before the beginning of Lent. Many pancakes are eaten, copious quantities of vodka are drunk, and generally a great time is had by all. This joy is an integral part of Orthodox Christianity. It is why sectarians cannot be considered real Christians. They have nothing but sour pusses and long faces all the time. A proper Christian knows when to celebrate, when to fast, when to laugh, and when to mourn. That is the true standard of faith. As for the often-odd religions that have been born in America, the less said…