Museums and Art

Christ in the Desert, 1872, Kramskoy

Christ in the Desert, 1872, Kramskoy

Christ in the desert - Ivan Nikolaevich Kramskoy. 180x210


Jesus sitting on a stone and waiting for the sunrise. The skyline divides the canvas into two parts: a cold stone desert - on the one hand, and the sky - a world of light and hope, a symbol of future transformation - on the other. Exactly in the middle of the canvas, on the border of these two worlds, are the closed hands of Christ, which together with his face represent the visual and semantic centers of the picture. The zone of greatest “tension” is concentrated here at the moment the Savior accepts the fate prepared for him.

The philosophical beginning in the picture comes to the fore thanks to the compositional solution: the similarity of Christ's pose on the canvas is obvious Kramskoy (1837-1887) with the pose of F. M. Dostoevsky - “ruler of thoughts” in the famous portrait of V. G. Perov. Eternal, universal problems, the confrontation of good and evil were central topics in the work of the artist and writer.

Composition "Christ in the wilderness"Made an indelible impression on the public. The Academy of Arts even wanted to award Kramsky the title of academician, but the artist, true to his principles, had nothing to do with official art. The painting was also presented at the Second Exhibition of the Association of Traveling Art Exhibitions, one of the founders of which was Kramskoy. Many wanted to buy a canvas, but it ended up in the end P. Tretyakov for six thousand rubles (the collector did not even bargain with the artist and immediately bought it for the amount he named). Tretyakov has repeatedly said that “Christ in the desert” is one of his most beloved paintings.


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