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In 1835, the Russian artist A.A. Ivanov was in Italy, where he was sent at the expense of the art community. This organization was waiting for the grandiose canvas promised by Ivanov. But the artist by that time was not yet ripe for his writing. Therefore, having got acquainted closely with the works of famous Italian painters, Ivanov began work on a “rehearsal” canvas before creating the “Appearance of Christ to the People”. He painted on the canvas two figures: Jesus and Mary Magdalene.
The plot chose widespread at that time among European masters. It is narrated in the Gospel of John. The first to see the resurrected Master Magdalen and rushed to him. But Christ stops her with words and a gesture: "Do not touch - I have not yet ascended to the Father ...". It is this moment of the 20th chapter of the scripture that Ivanov illustrates.
The composition of the picture is spiritualized simplicity, the figures of the characters are sculptural, canonically beautiful, plastic. Christ and Magdalene are depicted as being turned frontally, for the convenience of contemplating facial expressions and conveying their emotional experiences.
The figure of Christ is painted in perfect proportions, the folds of white robes are elegantly worked out. On Mary Magdalene, a fiery red dress. With this contrast, the artist expressed the difference between the spheres in which the human being and the divine are. The white fabric on the body of Jesus glows, shimmers like pearls and mother-of-pearl, bluish-gold, it reminds of heavenly sky-high spheres.
Magdalene is shown down to earth, with one foot on her knee, reaching out to her beloved Savior. Christ restrains a strong spiritual impulse of the disciple with a calm but strict gesture. Ivanov managed to convey the love of Jesus and the mixture of emotional experiences of Mary when he met him: the pain of his death, the delight of returning and the hope of speedy happiness.
For the canvas, the painter was given the title of academician.
Flight Over Chagall City