Art and Faith

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Pyotr Brazhanov. A Portrait of Admiral St Fyodor Ushakov. 1912

A Portrait of Admiral St Fyodor Ushakov (Pyotr Brazhanov, 1912)

Admiral St Fyodor Ushakov (1744-1817) was one of the most illustrious Russian naval commanders of all time. He was not only a daring fighting sea-dog, he was a competent administrator and a serious Orthodox Christian. The port facilities in Sevastopol and Kherson were originally built by him, and he worked on the establishment of the towns surrounding the naval bases. Admiral Ushakov never lost a battle, but, that is not why he was canonised. He took good care of his officers and sailors, and he ended his life in one of the monasteries of the Church (he never became a monk, but, he lived in a monastery and led a pious lay life).

He was canonised in 2000, and is the patron saint of the navy and of the Dalnaya Aviatsiya (“Long-range Aviation”, the strategic bomber force).

Yermolai Kamezhenkov. A Portrait of a Young Lady (E. N. Likhachyova). 1790

Filed under: 18th century,fine art,human study,portrait,Russian — 01varvara @ 00.00

A Portrait of a Young Lady (Yermolai Kamezhenkov, 1790)

Monday, 19 January 2009

Ivan Eggink. A Portrait of P. A. Zubov. beginning of the 19th century

Filed under: 19th century,fine art,human study,portrait,Russian — 01varvara @ 00.00

A Portrait of P. A. Zubov (Ivan Eggink, beginning of the 19th century)

Ivan Eggink. Grand Prince St Vladimir Examines the Faith. undated (first quarter of the 19th century?)

Grand Prince St Vladimir Examines the Faith (Ivan Eggink, undated (first quarter of the 19th century?))

Of course, this depiction is highly stylised, but, it does symbolise the fact that Grand Prince St Vladimir chose Orthodoxy over Roman Catholicism in 988. Do not forget that St Vladimir consciously rejected both Islam and Roman Catholicism… he was not merely ignorant of them. The former he considered too fanatical (for it forbade liquor) and the latter he found confusing (for his emissaries were not impressed with RC liturgy, finding it irreverent). Orthodoxy both he and his ambassadors found “just right” (“We did not know if we were in heaven or on earth”, in regards to the liturgy at Agia Sofia).

Russia is deeply Orthodox to this day… and shall remain so until the Last Trump, I am sure (Am I Orthodox? Well… I’m Russian… does that answer your question?).

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