Among the teachers by Vasily Polenov

Among the teachers by Vasily Polenov

For Russian artists of the second half of the 19th century, there is a characteristic interest in the Gospel history: let’s call at least the names of Kramskoy, Perov, and Ge.

Most of them sought to manifest the human nature of Christ, clearing the image of the “husk” of mysticism and miracles. Such – let us designate it as ethical – attitude to the Holy Scripture corresponded to the spirit of the times. Polenov’s many years of work on the re-creation of the Gospel story lay quite in line with this tradition, the silence of the artist himself explains a lot: “I want

to look for historical truth.”

Dreaming about the educational impact of his cycle, he compiled a set of Gospel texts with his own notes, which would comment on the paintings, – all of this gives a lot to Tolstoyism, which attracted Polenov.

Contemporaries struck this experience of reconstruction with its scale and purely picturesque virtues – a public display of works in 1909 aroused great interest. We reproduce two works included in the series “From the Life of Christ”: “Brought Children” and “Among the Teachers”.

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