The Story Behind Russia’s Most Famous Painting of Christ – Ivan Kramskoy’s ‘Christ in the Desert’

A few months before he was due to graduate with honours from the Imperial Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg, Ivan Kramskoy (1837-1887) organized the notorious ‘Revolt of the 14.” He led a group of his best friends (who also happened to be the most promising students of the graduating class of 1864) as they marched into the university […]

Zealous Artist of Holy Russia and Insatiable Seeker of Spiritual Meaning – Meet Pavel Ryzhenko

  Paul Ryzhenko (1970-2014) was a peculiar artist, especially for our times. He was staunchly realist—he believed that realism was the only ‘real’ art and scoffed at modernism as the result of a morally deteriorating world—yet he was also an unabashed Christian and a deep idealist. Intensely, rebelliously, Pavel definitely did not believe in art for art’s sake. […]

French Artist’s ‘Failure’ Inspired a Russian Spiritual Masterpiece

The NYU Russian art historian who took all who wanted (10 people) on a tour she called “Russian Art in the Metropolitan Museum” first stopped by a French painting: “Joan D’Arc” by Jules Bastien–Lepage. “My friends, can you guess why we stopped here?” she asked quizzically. “Look at it! Isn’t there just something familiar about it?” […]