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Christ in the desert

Painting, 1872, 180×210 cm

Description of the artwork «Christ in the desert»

Picture "Christ in desert" Archaeology, according to his confession, he wrote in tears and blood. He worked on it for a long time, created the sketches, threw them, looking for the only true intonation. The theme of the temptation of Christ, occupied him in the period of training at the Academy. The first impetus was the painting of Alexander Ivanov "The appearance of Christ to the people". Kramskoy was deeply moved by this work. For the task he stated: "To put before the people face the mirror, which would be their heart sounded the alarm". For 10 years he kept returning, wrote sketches, sketching. Known option, 1867that an artist was considered unsuccessful. Indeed, the vertical format was lacking width, vastness, "context", which is immersed in thoughts of the Savior. Two years later, Kramskoy went to Europe. Examining the works of recognized masters, he kept in mind his image, compare it with other interpretations, was groping for the right solution. I finished the painting in the Crimea, would Wake up early in the morning and a canvas all day – have already seen what it should be.

The plot is taken from the New Testament – the temptation of Christ in the wilderness, where he departed 40 days after his baptism. Christ Kramskoy as "Christ in Gethsemane"GE, looks not the Lord, and the suffering, restless, distrustful person.

Kramskoy wanted to show the moment of moral choice. External action as such, in the picture there, it was replaced by the internal experiences of the hero. In fact, the plot is the life of the spirit. In a letter to Vsevolod Garshina the artist gives explanation to the picture: "I can see clearly that there is a moment in every person's life, more or less created in the image and likeness of God, when he finds thought – whether to go right or left, whether to take for the Lord God, the ruble or not to yield a step to evil?". At the moment such thinking is embodied Son of God.

The composition of the painting is impeccable. The face and hands of Christ – two semantic center, the eye, like everything else around them written. On the face traces of painful hesitation. He could say:
If possible,
Abba Father,
This Cup by carry (B. Pasternak)

But there is in his face already, and humility, and acceptance of his fate. Bowl will not be carried past, he will izopet it down. The horizon line divides the painting into two worlds: the cold, lifeless desert, and working in dawn. It's the glow of a new day as if proclaiming the victory of the light. Tightly clenched hands of Christ is located exactly at the crossroads of the worlds – with these hands will be created a new life. The feet of Christ wounded on the rocks, they leave feeling like touching that hurts. Bloody feet bring your item in "plot", looking at them, we understand that the morning meditation was preceded by a sleepless night, restless for a long let through the darkness. Dawn – and this path is nearing completion.

Critics reproached archaeology for the fact that Holiness is not enough in the form of his Christ – he is too alive and sentient, they say. But that's the reproach, which is more praise. Kramskoy exhibited the painting "Christ in the desert," the second exhibition of the Itinerants. It created a furor. The artist admitted that there was three people who would take one look at his "Christ."

But he Kramskoy believed that to truly see his picture and hear what he tried to say, no one has. However, those wishing to purchase the painting was a lot. In the end, it went to Pavel Tretyakov, who gave the author the requested six thousand rubles. Later, the collector admitted that this is one of the most beloved of his works. Archaeology and promised, "to be Continued..." unfortunately, it is not followed. The attempt was – for many years he worked on the painting "Laughter"(alternative names: "Hail, king of the Jews!" "Christ in the courtyard of Pilate"), which wanted to show the mockery of Christ after the judgment of Pontius Pilate. The entire soul of archaeology has sought to work on this painting. But the need to constantly paint portraits to support her family, the death of two beloved sons and poor health did not allow him to finish with "Laughter". Unfinished painting is now kept in the St. Petersburg Russian Museum.

Author: Alain Esaulova
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About the artwork

Art form: Painting

Subject and objects: Religious scene

Style of art: Realism

Technique: Oil

Materials: Canvas

Date of creation: 1872

Size: 180×210 cm

Artwork in selections: 88 selections