Art and Faith

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Yelena Cherkasova. The Imperial Family. undated

The Imperial Family

Yelena Cherkasova


Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Unknown Artist. Royal Martyr Tsar St Nikolai Aleksandrovich the Passionbearer. undated (2000s?)

Royal Martyr Tsar St Nikolai Aleksandrovich the Passionbearer

Unknown artist

undated (2000s?)



There is an infallible test that shows you the true standing of this or that Orthodox institution or person. Those who honour the Tsar Martyr openly and venerate him are true Orthodox Christians. Those who denigrate or minimise him, those who slander him or call him dysfunctional, and those who pass over his podvig in silence are not Orthodox Christians at all. Reflect well on the fact that Aleksandr Schmemann denigrated the Tsar Martyr, as did (and does SVS). They DO love Rowan Williams, the official Episcopal Church , and Robert Taft! A word to the wise, eh…


Friday, 31 October 2008

Vladimir Pervunensky. The Last Tsar of Russia. 2006

The Last Tsar of Russia

Vladimir Pervunensky



Of course, this is an equestrian portrait of Royal Martyr Tsar St Nikolai Aleksandrovich the Passionbearer (1868-1918). He’s in front of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow. We in America have a special reason to hold Tsar St Nikolai in veneration. Many of the earliest Orthodox churches in this country were built using funds from the tsar’s privy purse. If it weren’t for this aid, there’d be no Orhtodoxy in America today. There are factions in Orthodoxy in this country that minimise Tsar St Nikolai’s role in our history. They shouldn’t be listened to and we should give them short shrift.


Sunday, 26 October 2008

Ivan Makarov. The Sermon on the Mount (Christ Blessing the Imperial Family). 1889

The Sermon on the Mount (Christ Blessing the Imperial Family)

Ivan Makarov



This painting is a religious allegory. To the right of Christ, one can see Tsar Aleksandr Aleksandrovich (ruled 1881-94) with his family. To the immediate left of the tsar is Tsarevich Nikolai Aleksandrovich, who later became tsar (ruled 1894-1917) and was martyred, along with his family and four servants, in 1918 in Yekaterinburg by the Reds (he was canonised in 2000 by the Moscow Patriarchate as a Holy Passionbearer). Of course, it symbolises the fact that the Church was supportive of the tsar and blessed his rule. Tsar Aleksandr was a genuinely pious man and he passed his faith on to his son, who was, perhaps, the most spiritually-minded tsar in Russian history. Aleksandr Aleksandrovich was an unpretentious man who knew his limitations. That is, he was truly humble. He took no guff from anyone, but, he offered no abuse to anyone else either. In short, he was a good Christian ruler, well worth emulating. A man who embodied the best of monarchy and autocracy, I say. We need such today.

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