Christ and the sinner (Who is without sin?) - Vasily Dmitrievich Polenov. 325x611
One of the themes of the picturesque heritage of Vasily Dmitrievich Polenov is his gospel stories. The second half of the 19th century posed a series of questions for a person related to spiritual search and a new understanding of religious knowledge. After writing in 1837-1857 by A. A. Ivanov the monumental painting “The Appearance of Christ to the People”, the next generation of artists (to which Polenov belonged) reinterpreted Scripture in its own way. The book of E. Renan's Life of Jesus, in which the Savior appeared in the image of an ordinary person who was not endowed with a divine halo, largely became a support for them.
Image of Polenov Christ in a historically real setting and clothing was innovative for its time. For the artist, the gospel story was an occasion to show Christ as a humanist, opposing the fanatical dogma of fanatics (according to the law, women were stoned for treason, and Christ, tempted by the people to blame, defended the woman, saying: “Whoever is without sin, throw a stone at her!”, And the crowd dispersed.
Having made numerous trips to the countries of the Middle East, Polenov performed more than one hundred and fifty field studies and sketches for the painting. A long stay in sunny countries enriched his palette with bright colors, which surprised the audience, accustomed to the dark painting of the Wanderers. It is necessary to pay attention to the compositional solution of the canvas - the multi-figure action unfolds as if against the backdrop of a theatrical backdrop. This feeling is no coincidence, the artist worked a lot in the theater and was one of the initiators of the reform of theatrical and decorative art that took place on the stage of the Mamontov Private Opera, with which he had long-standing friendships. It is curious that Polenov finished his picture in the house of the patron.