The Baptism of Rus by Victor Vasnetsov

The Baptism of Rus by Victor Vasnetsov

In addition to works on the epic themes, Vasnetsov has a number of works devoted to the religious theme. In his work, legends and historical themes occupy the most part. One of his works is the fresco of the Vladimir Cathedral, which is located in Kiev.

At the heart of the picture is a comprehension of the introduction of Christianity in Russia. In its center is Vladimir Svyatoslavovich. It was with him that this historic and large-scale event took place, which influenced the entire subsequent history of Russia. The solemnity of the moment and the seriousness of everything that is happening are clearly marked. His robe is embroidered with gold, his hands are raised to heaven. His whole appearance speaks about the importance of the decision taken, about the determination with which he acts, because he, at the moment, is making history.

Around the prince are representatives of religion, higher clergy, ordinary parishioners of the church. They are all dressed in white robes, as a symbol of purity. In the background of the picture we see a choir and a faithful army. Against the backdrop of all the high-ranking officials and the clergy, figures of ordinary people are seen that are very contrastively distinguished from the general mass. They are waiting for their turn in the rite of baptism. According to legend, people are immersed in the waters of the Dnieper. We see that here there are representatives of different generations: from children to the elderly.

Above, a bright cloud is depicted, and out of it God’s light is poured out on all those gathered. He embodies the blessing of the assembled. The artist even envisaged drawing people, inhabitants of the heavens. They are depicted more blurry. These people look down on the solemn atmosphere and are glad that this event in Russia still happened. The baptism of Rus is one of the most important events in Russian history. It left an imprint on the whole of the subsequent history, both on the spiritual side and on the part of making state decisions.

This picture is now in Moscow, in the Tretyakov Gallery.

The Baptism of Rus by Victor Vasnetsov
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