These two studies are part of the working process of Nesterov’s large painting entitled ‘Russia. The Soul of the People” (1914-1916). Today, the painting belongs to the collection of the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow and is considered one of the artist’s pivotal works. The religious-historical composition brings together the image of Sacred Russia on the eve of dramatic change in Russian life.
The studies are in very good condition, consistent with age. One shows a tiny touch-up to the lower area. The canvases are laid down on cardboard.
Mikhail Nesterov (1862-1942)
Mikhail Nesterov studied at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture (MSPSA), where he attended the classes of V.G. Perov, A. K. Savrasov and I. M. Pryanishnikov. In St. Petersburg he studied at the Academy of Arts, where he was a student of P. P. Chistyakov. In 1896 he joined the Peredvizhniki. Later, his works were deeply concerned with the exploration of the religious idea of the ‘Russian Soul’. Nesterov's oeuvre includes landscapes and portraits, monumental wall paintings, as well as historical-religious compositions. A selection of his works is preserved, for example, in the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow. (cbo)