The Apparition of Christ Before the People by Alexander Ivanov
The Apparition of Christ Before the People by Alexander Ivanov (1806-1858) is based on the evangelical story of the coming of the Messiah. The artists has depicted John the Baptist pointing out the approaching Christ to the people as the long-awaited savior, the incarnation of justice and good. Though religious in content, the painting had an ethical and philosophical significance on the eve of the abolition of serfdom. Ivanov spent nearly 25 years creating this masterpiece, producing some 600 sketches in the process. Some of the sketches on display are valuable in their own right as they shed light on the artist’s compositional technique. However, the painting on the exhibit is the preliminary version closest to the original at the Tretyakov Art Gallery in Moscow.