Christ in the Wilderness.
 Kramskoĭ, Ivan Nikolaevich, 1837-1887

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Title:Christ in the Wilderness

The poet and cultural critic, Rainer Maria Rilke, was profoundly affected upon seeing Kramskoi's painting of Christ in the Wilderness. "The painting portrayed a lonely Jesus sitting on a stone in a desert, lost in melancholy meditation. "Russian art does not become more narrow with its growing nationalism," Rilke concluded. On the contrary, "it may be in a better position to express the higher human universals if it completely abandons everything foreign, accidental, and un-Russian." Rilke's advocacy of Russian nationalism has often been misinterpreted by his critics. He was not proposing a return to the confines of a cult or mindless ritual, but he believed in art as a channel or a a system of canals for focusing generally unformed national feelings and intuitions. To be authentic, Russian artistic images had to be intimately linked with millions of individual Russian souls." [from: Rilke's Russia: A Cultural Encounter, Anna A. Tavis. Northwestern University Press, 1997. p. 77. ]

Artist:Kramskoĭ, Ivan Nikolaevich, 1837-1887
Building:Gosudarstvennai︠a︡ Tretʹi︠a︡kovskai︠a︡ galerei︠a︡

Scripture:Matthew 4:1-11
Luke 4:1-13
Lectionary links:ALent01
General Subject:Temptation of Christ

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Attribution:Kramskoĭ, Ivan Nikolaevich, 1837-1887. Christ in the Wilderness, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. [retrieved April 14, 2024]. Original source:
Record Number:54297 Last Updated: 2021-10-04 17:05:02 Record Created: 2010-02-17 14:24:46
Institution:Vanderbilt University Collection: Art in the Christian Tradition

Bibliographic Source:Rilke's Russia: A Cultural Encounter
Author:Tavis, Anna A.
Publisher:Northwestern University Press