Vasily Polenov. Christ and the Sinner, 1888

Painting Christ and the Sinner by Vasily Polenov

Vasily Polenov. Christ and the Sinner, 1888
Vasily Polenov. Christ and the Sinner, 1888

Christ and the Sinner, a painting by the brilliant artist Vasily Dmitrievich Polenov, reflects a new understanding of religious knowledge. The plot is based on a biblical parable. A crowd of men brought a city woman accused of treason to her husband to Christ, to be judged by the Law of God. Jesus said, “He who is without sin among you, be the first to throw a stone at her.” People remembered their own wrongdoings and dispersed.

The composition of the picture is unusual the action takes place near the walls of the Jerusalem Temple, as if against the backdrop of a theatrical scenery. The characters, like real actors, overlap each other to a minimum, so that the audience can see the emotions and movements of each. To the left of the steps of the building, Christ and his followers are depicted, to the right angry townspeople. The painting shows the climax. The words of Christ have not yet been spoken, hypocrites and hypocrites are raging, one of them holds out a stone to the Savior. A deep psychological study of the images is complemented by the color of the work: Christ and the Pharisee are illuminated by the sun’s rays, the secondary characters are painted in dark colors. The work is devoid of metaphysics and shows Jesus as a mere mortal.

The painting Christ and the Sinner by Vasily Polenov is a great creation filled with philosophical and moral meaning

Year of writing: 1888
Size: 325 x 611 cm.
Style: Romanticism.
Genre: Religious.
Technique: Oil painting.
Material: Canvas.
Location: State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg.

Vasily Dmitrievich Polenov is an outstanding landscape painter of the late 19th early 20th centuries, the author of numerous genre paintings and architectural projects. His works are characterized by bright colors, an excess of air and light, creating a special emotional mood.

Polenov nurtured the idea of ​​the painting “Christ and the Sinner” for twenty years. Traveling around Italy and the Middle East, the master looked for types, bought household items and clothing, and made sketches. Preaching the idea of ​​Christian virtue and spiritual self-improvement, the painter wanted to sign the picture with the phrase “Which one of you is without sin?”

Such a name would correspond to the author’s interpretation of the Gospel text. However, the censorship banned. The painting “Christ and the Sinner” by Vasily Polenov, which raises the problem of a person’s ability to compassion, finds a touching response in the hearts of representatives of different religious denominations.