Archangel Michael by Victor Vasnetsov

Archangel Michael by Victor Vasnetsov

Viktor Mikhailovich Vasnetsov possessed a profound knowledge of complex Orthodox symbols. How many generations of Vasnetsov he studied at a theological seminary. Later acquired knowledge used in monumental painting and in his temple paintings. Just as the pagan and Christian beliefs were intricately intertwined in the popular consciousness, the artist managed to reconcile these two worldviews in his paintings.

The painting “Archangel Michael” was preceded by the painting of the Vladimir Cathedral in Kiev, sketches of paintings for the St. George Church in Gus-Khrustalny, for the Church of the Savior on Blood in St. Petersburg, for the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Sofia, commissioned by the royal family for the church of Sts. Magdalene in Darmstadt. Believer, in his work for the church, Viktor Vasnetsov saw his real vocation. In 1915-1916 at the 13th exhibition of the Union of Russian Artists Vasnetsov presented a large canvas “Archangel Michael”. This majestic and formidable image is widespread in religious art.

The Archangel Michael is clothed in chain mail and armed with a sword, shield or spear, or both. The wings opened behind his back testify to his angelic nature, his belonging to the heavenly Hierarchy. Satan – either in a semi-human form, or in the form of a dragon – prostrate under the feet of the Holy, who is ready to kill him. In Russia, Archangel Michael was always considered the patron of warriors fighting for a just cause. Often, his winged figure adorned the helmets of the ancient Russian army.

In the Old Testament Archangel Michael is one of the seven archangels of the Lord, the guardian angel of Israel, his name comes from the Hebrew “who is like God.” The Christian tradition describes him as standing at the head of a host of angels of heaven, the protector of peace from the prince of darkness. Michael led the heavenly host to victory over Lucifer and the fallen angels. In the book of Revelation it is written thus: “And there was a war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought against them, but they did not stand, and there was no place for them in heaven. dragon, the ancient serpent “

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