Weekly Photo Challenge – A face in the crowd

A face in the crowd.

The Appearance of Christ Before the People or The Apparition of the Messiah is a famous painting by Russian artist Alexander Andreyevich Ivanov. (1806 – 1858). The painting hangs in the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow, and MB had to good fortune to visit the gallery and view the painting during his May 2017 trip to Russia’s capital city (where he grabbed a few shots!).

There are many faces in the crowd by the banks of the River Jordan in the famous painting, which depicts many stories from the Bible; John the Baptist, Apostles John, Peter and Andrew, and others. The artist has also included a self-portrait in red headgear sitting not far from John the Baptist who has his hand and staff raised in the direction of Christ. For further info on the painting, take a read of the Wikipedia link.

Herewith: two shots of the painting from MBs trip, both giving a sense of scale and size of the painting which took the artist 20 years to paint.


8 Comments on “Weekly Photo Challenge – A face in the crowd

  1. Pingback: A Face in the Crowd – When the Face is the Crowd – What's (in) the picture?

  2. I wish Jesus were a little closer so I could see his face. Is he perplexed to find a bunch of naked people hurrying to dress as he approaches? Why were they naked in the first place? And why does the man in the center of the foreground have a green face? (Is his tunic perhaps not color-fast and has the dye stained his skin?) I love it when art asks more questions than it answers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks H. I believe the naked people represent those who were baptised in the Jordan River by JTB. Obviously, it was ‘full immersion’ baptisms in those days, until we went all soft and started the habit of a few drops on the forehead. Good spot on the tint of green in the hair of one of the pilgrims. I had not noticed it. You might be correct about the dye running from his garment. Or it could be an early image of St Patrick, him being the main man (patron Saint) of Ireland, the Emerald Isle – even though he would not be born for another three or four hundred years. But it’s a possibility I guess. Thanks for the Questions H. The answers I have proposed only lead to more questions I guess. And the cycle continues. Art. Strooth!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Thank you so much for clearing up The Mystery of the Naked People, MB. And I love your theory too about St. Patrick — that really is the only logical explanation. Let’s go with it! Strooth right back at ya.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. I can imagine myself in the banks of the river standing and listening to Jesus. Strange to see a Christian painting in a communist country.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for comment P. Must admit I was amazed to see how prevalent Christianity was/is in Moscow. So many Orthodox churches in every neighbourhood. I witnessed tens of thousands of people queueing up to pray at a relic of St Nicholas at a central Moscow Cathedral (on loan from Rome). They were arriving daily by train from all corners of Russia. Even within the Kremlin complex, there is the famous Cathedral Square. You can see the Square on one of my Moscow posts – https://michealdebarra.com/2017/06/30/moscow-the-kremlin/ Others might interest you also – just search ‘Moscow’. Thanks again.

      Liked by 1 person

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