Art and Faith

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Konsatantin Miroshnik. Old Books. no date (2000s?)

Old Books (Konstantin Miroshnik, no date (2000s?)

I chose this as a contrast to the portrait of Shchuko because both are pieces done in low light. Of course, this work is more “worked out” than the Kulikov, and it tells a “story” (of a young seminarian or novice discovering old and forgotten books), whereas the Shchuko is a straight piece of portraiture, but, both are interesting uses of dark tones.

This work is a metaphor for the current religious revival in Russia. Just as the young seminarian is rediscovering the “old books”, the entire country is doing likewise today. One wonders how they were preserved during the years of the Red terror, and how many risks those hiding them went through. If only these books could talk! What would they tell us? Perhaps, of a lowly stoker who hid them underneath the coal-pile… of an old baba who hid them in her linen chest… of the young Komsomol activist who shouted Marxist slogans by day, and read this “forbidden fruit” at night… yes, the candle guttered low, but, it never went out completely.

Russians know the cost of belief, and they know that the price can be high… very high, indeed. The icon of Christ was darkened and obscured, but, it was not broken or lost. Recent arrivals to the Church should reflect deeply on this. There is a “dark night of the soul”, and sometimes the only thing that one can do is to walk to the scaffold with dignity, without compromising one’s faith. All those who spout “positive” happy talk concerning the faith should be ashamed of themselves. Christ and His Church are far deeper than that.

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Ivan Kulikov. In a Peasant Izba. 1902

Filed under: domestic,early modern,fine art,human study,rural scene,Russian — 01varvara @ 00.00

In a Peasant Izba (Ivan Kulikov, 1902)

Here is one of the two pieces that won Ivan Semyonovich a gold medal from the Academy of Fine Arts in 1902.

Ivan Kulikov. A Portrait of the Architect V.A. Shchuko. 1902

Filed under: early modern,fine art,human study,portrait,Russian — 01varvara @ 00.00

A Portrait of the Architect V. A. Shchuko (Ivan Kulikov, 1902)

Here is the other work by Ivan Semyonovich that won him the gold medal in 1902.

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