Our Glory – Russian Power: Jubilee Exhibition of the People’s Artist of Russia Vasili Nesterenko in the Manezh Exhibition Hall

Dates: February 10 – March 3, 2017
Venue: Moscow State Exhibition Hall “Manezh”
            Manezhnaya square, Moscow

Organized under the auspices of the Russian Ministry of Culture, the Moscow City Department of Culture and the Russian Academy of Arts, the exhibition of the People’s Artist of Russia, Academician of the Russian Academy of Arts Vasili Nesterenko presents over one hundred canvases and graphic works. The major retrospective is timed to the 50th anniversary of the eminent master and the 35th anniversary of his creative work.

Vasili Nesterenko is world renowned for his historical canvases and religious paintings.  His works are in collections of major museums in Russia and other countries. The artist’s solo exhibitions have been held in many Russian cities and worldwide, of big success were his recent solo shows in the Vatican and the State Art Museum of China in Beijing.

This is the artist’s third solo exhibition in the prestigious Manezh exhibition hall.  The title of the exhibition “Our Glory – Russian Power” fully reflects the creative career of Vasili Nesterenko, his goals and tasks, the artistic and emotional focus of his works. The principle theme of his creative life and this jubilee retrospective is Russia, its glorious past, historical and spiritual traditions in today’s world, variety of the surrounding nature and portraits of our contemporaries.

The centerpieces of the exhibition are historical canvases dedicated to the key moments of Russian history. These are “Deliverance from the Time of Troubles”, “The End of the Invasion”, “Moscow Welcomes the Heroes of Poltava”,  “We  Will Defend Sebastopol”, “The Triumph of the Russian Navy”, “We are the Russians, God is with Us!’. Using the language of history he speaks about   problems and challenges of the present day.

The historical theme in the artist’s creative work is closely connected with   religious painting. He has been actively involved in the recreation of wall paintings of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow, as well as many churches in Russia and other countries. In honor of the 1000th anniversary of the Russian monkhood on the Holy Mount Athos Vasili Nesterenko created icons and frescoes for the Church of The Holy Great Martyr and Healer Panteleimon. On display in the Manezh exhibition hall are also his numerous sketches and cartoons for frescoes, series of his works on the spiritual topic.

The landscape painting of Vasili Nesterenko is his attempt to convey through art a great variety of feelings and experiences in communication with nature such as the noise of surf at the Kamchatka, the smell of waves of the Black Sea, the transparency of the Baikal and cold water of the Altai lakes, the weight of wet snow on the branches and noise of the falling leaves in autumn forest. The works depicting the nature of the Urals, Siberia and Far East have been united by the artist in the cycle “The Borders”. His series entitled “My Russian Land” is a hymn to the Central Russia with its poetic nature, churches and old monasteries.  

Among the characters of his portraits are people from the past and heroes of the present day. Of big interest are his historical portraits of Prince Pozharsky, Ivan Susanin, Emperor Peter the Great, associates of Catherine the Great, the Grand Duchess Elizaveta Fyodorovna, Patriarch Tikhon. Vasili Nesterenko is an author of  historical still lifes distinguished by a combination of elements of a landscape, interior and semi-figures of people.

The exhibition is a rare opportunity to see the artist’s works of various genres of painting spanning several decades of his creative life including the works to be shown to the wide public for the first time.  

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