Art and Faith

Sunday, 20 April 2008

Ressetar 50th Anniversary Video: A Russian-American Love Story

Filed under: contemporary,domestic,Orthodox,Russian,vocal — 01varvara @ 00.00

Sasha made this video presentation for his parents’ 50th wedding anniversary today. We are Russians, we are Americans, all at the same time. This honours the pioneers who kept the flame of the Faith alive all those years. Thank you. You taught us well.

Na Mnogaya Lyeta, Batiushka Daniel and Matushka Theodora. It cannot be said too often or too loudly. We shall carry on as you did. I bow in deep respect. 

Meet the Artist: Nikolai Andreyevich Koshelev

Filed under: 19th century,biography,fine art,Russian — 01varvara @ 00.00

A Portrait of the Painter Nikolai Koshelev (Ivan Kramskoi, 1866)

KOSHELEV Nikolai Andreyevich

Born: 1840

Died: 1918

Due to his lack of art supplies in his childhood years, the future professor of the Academy of Fine Arts Nikolai Andreyevich Koshelev could not study at the fine arts school in Arzamas established by Academician A. V. Stupin. So, instead of formal study, the eleven-year-old boy, who passionately loved to sketch, became an assistant to two different artists, but, alas, both situations in an apprenticeship in art proved unsuccessful. When it looked like it would be impossible to obtain another position as an artist’s apprentice, a local landowner intervened in his fate. For three years, she allowed him to work independently, at home, mastering all the techniques of fine art painting. Then, he took a trip with his benefactress to the Kazan School of Fine Arts, where he obtained lessons from professional instructors.

Christ Enthroned as Heavenly King (Nikolai Koshelev, 1874)

This led to Nikolai Andreyevich receiving commissions to paint the icons on the iconostases of several churches, and he also painted fresco icons on the walls of a local monastery. Finally, he was able to move to St Petersburg, and he entered the Academy of Fine Arts in 1861. For the first years of his residence in the capital, he lived in abject poverty and semi-starvation. Nevertheless, in spite of all this, the impulse of his creative passion forced him forward to the extent that he received three silver medals at art competitions in 1862. At long last, in 1863, he was able to sell several of his artworks, which improved his financial situation tremendously.

The Music Lesson (Nikolai Koshelev, 1865)

From 1865, for some years, he was one of the team of artists who were working to paint the icons at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow. It was specifically for this creative effort in beautifying the Cathedral that he became an Academician in 1873 and a Professor of the Academy of Fine Arts in 1878. Both by his life and his creative work, for he painted many remarkable portraits, landscapes, and genre pictures, he proved an old saying about artists. “In painting, there is no wide and easy path. The only one who can reach its shining summit is one who does not weary and lose heart as he clambers up her narrow and stony slopes”.

My Russkie –kakoi vostorg! (in Russian)

“Many Years” for Fr Daniel and Matushka Theodora Ressetar

Today is the 50th wedding anniversary of Fr Daniel and Matushka Theodora Ressetar, the parents of Sasha Ressetar, my good friend and frequent contributor to this site. This clip is from the service at their Russian Orthodox parish in Harrisburg PA. The priest intoning the many years is Fr Michael Kovach, a retired archpriest, still going strong at 89, according to Sasha! It was those such as Batiushka Daniel and Matuhka Theodora, and Batiushka Michael and his wife Matushka Olga, who taught us the Faith and guided our first steps. THANK YOU! Our debt of gratitude can never be paid in full.

Na Mnogaya Lyeta, Batiushka Daniel and Matushka Theodora! 

It’s Palm Sunday!

Blessing of the pussy-willows and palms on Palm Sunday in the Russian Orthodox church in Harrisburg PA

Today is Palm sunday, one of the holiest days in the Christian year. We Russian Orthodox bless pussy-willows and palms and pass them out to the faithful. Why pussy-willows? It is simplicity itself. In old Russia, there were no palms available, and no way of getting them. So, the custom of handing out pussy-willows instead arose.

Where am I going to be later this morning? Need you ask?

Thanks to Sasha Ressetar for the photos. A blessed holyday to Sasha and his family!

Sasha’s mum Matushka Theodora on Palm Sunday (a “matushka” (literally “little mother”) is the title for a priest’s wife)

Today is not only Palm Sunday, it is the 50th anniversary of Sasha’s parents, Fr Daniel and Matushka Theodora Ressetar. Wow! A DOUBLE blessing on the day. Na Mnogaya Lyeta!

Well… good things come in threes, they say. It is also the 28th wedding anniversary of Fr Andrew Phillips and his wife in England. Truly, this adds to our s Prazdnikom! For the Phillips family, Na Monogaya Lyeta!

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