Art and Faith

Sunday, 13 July 2008

Nikolai Yaroshenko. Life is Everywhere. 1888

 

Life is Everywhere

Nikolai Yaroshenko

1888

This is a depiction of a trainload of convicted criminals on their way to Siberian exile. Since Russia was an Orthodox country, mercy was shown to the criminals. They were exiled to far places, to be sure, but, they were allowed to take their families with them. Often, the old babas would wait on the station sidings and give food and drink to the prisoners and their families. The prisoners were punished to be sure, but, they were not dehumanised, as the later prisoners in the GULag were. The Church taught everyone to show charity to prisoners and their families, and this was counted as an act of Christian mercy. Yes, life is everywhere… the prisoner’s child is the same as everyone else’s.

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