Vasnetsov self portraitVASNETSOV VIKTOR MIKHAILOVICH

1848-1926

Russian painter, one of the founders of Russian modern in its national and romantic variant, author of paintings with historical and fairy subject. Brother of the painter Apollinary Vasnetsov. Was a member of the "Society of Itinerants". To the brush of the master belong a lot of paintings, among which the "Heros"("Bogatyry"), the "Alenushka", the "Ivan Tsarevich on big bad wolf", the "Knight at the crossroads", the "Syrin and Alconost. The Song of grief and kickshaws", the "Sleeping Tsarevna", the "Tsar Ivan Vassilyevich Grozny" and others.  

Being gifted for decoration Viktor Vasnetsov takes part in stage versions.

During the last years the painter  s talent for architecture blossomed out. According to his sketches stalyzating old Russian antiquity, in Abramtsevo were erected the Church of The Holy Face (1881-1882) and the Hut on chicken legs (1883) and in Moscow a memorable cross at the place of killing of the great prince Sergey Aleksandrovich in the Kremlin (1905, destroyed under Soviet power and renewed in the territory of the New Monastery of the Savior) and the facade of Tretyakov Gallery (1906).

The most important among his monumental and decorative works were the painting of the Vladimirsky Cathedral  (1885-1896).

It was indicated in the contract signed by Vasnetsov : "...I am obliged to carry out the work with my assistants from my own materials of high quality within two years from the moment of signing of this agreement".  

Viktor Mikhaylovich himself considered this work as a main affair of his life. He liked to repeat that "in Rus there is no holier and more fruitful work for the Russian painter than the decoration of a temple ".

Nevertheless at the beginning Vasnetsov... refused the proposal of Prakhov to participate in the painting of cathedral. Tell the truth he took the address of Kyiv de bene esse. The following day, sitting on the bench at his dacha, he was affected by the image of his wife with his son-baby in her arms.  The child reached out for the opened for him sight of spring garden and thrown up his small hands. The appearance of the woman with the baby affected Vasnetsov so much that it came to him that how it would be good to paint the Mother of God with the baby in her arms like just coming into view his dear people. At once he made the decision to paint the cathedral and the following day he sent a telegram to Prakhov about his consent. By this he made the professor glad.


Afterwards, when Vasnetsov presented to Prakhov his sketches of superaltar of the Mother of God the last retrieved and showed to the painter made before sketch of the image oozed on the plaster. Prakhov himself told how much Vasnetsov had been affected by the exact coincidence of two images of the Mother of God. Being unable to find his tongue for some minutes he pronounced afterwards: "It was the order of the God ". About two years Vasnetsov painted that image. When the scaffoldings were removed and the commission for the acceptance of work was convened, such a view of paintings has been opened that everyone understood that the piece of absolute painting has been appeared in the cathedral.  

Particularly the icon of the Mother of God affected. There she easy and slowly comes towards the spectators. The Queen of Heaven brings his Son to the naughty world... Her great full of grief and love brown eyes look tenderly at the spectator.  Her pale lighted up by internal light face is unusually beautiful. Traditional image of the Mother of God received original and peculiar interpretation under the brush of Vasnetsov. Since this image is named "the Mother of God of Vasnetsov".  

While preparing for the works in the temple Vasnetsov acquainted with the monuments of Early Christianity in Italy, studied mosaics and frescos of Sophievsky Cathedral of Kiev, frescos of Kirilivsky and Mikhaylovsky Cloisters of Kiev. Under his belt was the experience of mastering the traditions of Old Russian art: monuments of architecture of Novgorod, Moscow, Rostov and Yaroslav, studying of Old Believers icons of Moscow, book miniatures of early Rus, folklore.

One of the researchers of the cathedral  s paintings remarks that "...the eyes of all figures of Vasnetsov are the traditional eyes of Byzantine iconography: too great, all of equal shape and the same colour. Sheer darkness makes them bottomless and allows to the imagination to fill them with all colours of mystic sensations.

While working on incarnation of the images of Russian princes Vladimir, Andrey Bogolubsky, Aleksandr Nevsky, Mikhail Chernigovsky, Mikhail Tverskoy, princess Olga, chronicler Nestor, icon painter Alipiy and many others, Vasnetsov incarnated his reflections about the historical past of Russia. Andrey Bogolubsky and Aleksandr Nevsky get up in heavy armour are represented as soldiers, who uphold the independence. Popular imaginations about intelligent, strong-willed, resolute and adamant governors have been incarnated in the images of the prince Vladimir and the princess Olga. Vasnetsov addressed to the image of the great prince Vladimir three times: in the composition the "Christening of the Saint Prince Vladimir", the "Christening of residents of Kiev" and in the icon image of Saint Prince Vladimir.  

Altogether Vasnetsov fulfilled 15 compositions and 30 separate figures let alone medallions. This represents 4 thousand square meters. Titanic efforts! The Cathedral was bad heated. Vasnetsov was tormented by constant colds.  Several times the painter fall from the scaffolding that nearly costed his life.  But from all appearances the Mother of God protected the master. Upon completion of works Viktor Mikhaylovich pronounced the sacramental phrase: "I lighted the candle for the God".

V.M. Vasnetsov died on July 23, 1926, buried in Moscow at Vvedenskoe Cemetery (Section 18).

 

Works of artist:
Maria Magdalina
Santa Maria
Iisus (main altar)
St Volodymyr (main altar)
Princess Olga (mail altar)
Last Judgement, Doomsday
Christening of Kiev Rus
Christening of Prince Volodymyr
Nestor the chronicler
Andrey Bogolyubsky
Madonna
Daugther of professor Prakhov as Seraph
God - Word
Deus Pater
The God - Son (crucifix)
Main Dom - the Almighty
Evangelist Ioann (St John)
Evangelist Matfey
Evangelist Luka
Evangelist Mark
Seraph
Prophets by Victor Vasnetsov
Prophets by Victor Vasnetsov
Lamb of God
Dobrynya
Main dome
Jesus as Lamb of God