Description of the picture:
Vision to the youth Bartholomew – Misha Vasilyevich Nesterov. 1889-1890. Canvas, oil. 100 sixty x two hundred eleven cm
In one thousand eight hundred and eighty-nine years, Misha Nesterov set to create 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 painter himself recalled, “they judged the picture with a terrible court.” The main attacks came from Stasov, Myasoedov, Suvorin, etc. The work overturned rational foundations with one blow, which the Wanderers rooted with such difficulty. What kind of mysticism, what kind of halo above your head? Stasov took a lot of effort to dissuade Tretyakov from buying the 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 the highest morality. It was in this form that he found reassurance, experiencing a terrible tragedy, the death of his wife during childbirth.
At the heart 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 meek lad will recognize the letter, having extended that part of the prosphora. Specifically, this moment we see in the picture of Nesterov.
The remaining drafts demonstrate to the researchers how long the painter found a suitable perspective, composition. It is impossible not to mention the vibrant, secured 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 own people. Here you can feel the harmony of nature and the gentle human soul. Until the end of his days, Misha Nesterov considered Vision to be his best work."