Vision to the youth Bartholomew - Mikhail Vasilyevich Nesterov. 160 x 211 cm
In 1889, Mikhail Nesterov set about creating a series of paintings dedicated to Sergius of Radonezh. The first and most significant work of the famous cycle was the painting "Vision to the Youth Bartholomew."
The canvas was presented at the eighteenth exhibition of the Wanderers and made a lot of noise. As the artist himself recalled, “they judged the picture by a terrible court.” The main attacks came from Stasov, Myasoedov, Suvorin and others. The work in one fell swoop overturned the rationalist foundations that so difficultly rooted the Wanderers. What kind of mysticism, what is the halo above your head? Stasov spent a lot of effort to dissuade Tretyakov from buying a canvas "accidental at the exhibition".
The image of Sergius of Radonezh was not accidentally chosen by the master - for Nesterov this religious personality was the embodiment of high morality. It was in this image that he sought reassurance, experiencing a terrible tragedy, the death of his wife during childbirth.
The basis of the picture is the plot from the biography of "St. Sergius." The young lad Bartholomew, who went to the field for horses on the orders of his father, met an angel in the form of a monk. An angel prayed under a tree. The boy waited patiently. At the end of the prayer, the elder blessed Bartholomew and asked what he wanted to ask the Lord, to which the boy replied that he wanted to become literate. The angel promised that the humble lad learns to read and write, having extended that part of the prosphora. This is the moment we see in the picture of Nesterov.
The remaining sketches show researchers how long the artist searched for the desired angle, composition. It is impossible not to note the vibrant, rich landscape, which became the scenery for this story. In the combination of the religious plot and the Russian landscape, Nesterov saw the idea of uniting his people. Here you can feel the harmony of nature and the humble human soul. Until the end of his days, Mikhail Nesterov considered Vision to be his best work.