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The image of the Grand Duke Alexander Nevsky is found quite often among the works of famous artists. In a sense, it was a state-Orthodox cult of personality.
Peter 1 himself, at the time of the founding of St. Petersburg, drew attention to the close location of the city with a memorial place where once the Great Alexander managed to defend the Swedes in the struggle for Russian lands. Thus, his name began to embody the desire to defeat the enemy at all costs.
At the end of the 18th century, the image of Nevsky became the most revered saint in Russia. For many creators, it was considered an honor to portray the prince in his picture, and Viktor Vasnetsov was no exception. He is often called the founder of the "Russian style." In his work, he emphasized the image of the Russian soul of the Grand Duke. Nevsky is depicted as a true Slav with brown curly hair and a beard.
Outlining the silhouette of Alexander, he brought him to the forefront to emphasize the greatness and power of this person. Many consider this painting to be a reference to traditional medieval icon painting, but Vasnetsov himself did not share a similar point of view.
Alexander Nevsky in Vasnetsov’s work is presented to his full height, where all the details of his image are clearly traced. Contemporaries spoke of the image as "about the incredible fortitude and love for the people that comes from the image of Grand Prince Nevsky." In his work, Vasnetsov managed to convey the Orthodox spirit and moral ethos, which can be seen in the image of Nevsky.
Such details as the prince’s robe, a cloak with images of Orthodox symbols and a halo over his head are combined with a sword in his hands and determination in the look of the true hero of Russian history. Sketches of paintings are presented in the Vladimir Cathedral in Kiev, and the work itself is in the Tretyakov Gallery.
Pictures of Fedotov