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The hermit

Painting, 1888, 142.8×125 cm

Description of the artwork «The hermit»

Father Mikhail Nesterov, a merchant from Ufa when he saw that the son is certainly not adapted to the merchant business, allowed him to choose his own path. But it is said that he recognizes in him a true artist only when his job will buy Pavel Tretyakov for his collection. The first picture of the loop that acquired Tretyakov, just became "The hermit". Moreover, philanthropist and gallery owner bought the painting before the beginning of the XVII traveling exhibition of 1889, where "the Hermit" had to be submitted. It is noteworthy that some of the participants also wrote of paintings on similar themes. For example, Grigory Myasoedov portrayed the desert. However, in the forest and in the summer. When they saw the work of Nesterov, rushed to his painting and started it for something to fix. And then completely removed it from the exhibition.

"The hermit" - a true masterpiece even for those who the work of Nesterov alien.


His "Hermit" Michael Nesterov wrote with a specific person – a monk of the proud, lived in the Trinity-Sergius Lavra. He often saw him at the morning service, admired his calm, kind face. But come up and ask for the "pose" was not solved. And one day in the service remarkable old man has not appeared. Nesterov began to ask: "Who is he? Where is he?". The artist answered that it was father proud, and he recently died. Rushed to the album, trying to sketch memorable way. But nothing came of it – this was a monk proud.

But one day, when Nesterov once again came to Matins in the Cathedral, he saw again his monk. Here it is decided not to tempt fate twice: immediately after the service began to persuade his father proud of him to pose. The old man was strong and correct. All protested, Recalling that, say, the pride of all, is not charitable activity and sin. Nesterov not behind him, citing the example of portraits of the metropolitans. Really, the metropolitans we are such sinners, allowed himself to portraits to write? In the end, the father Gordey gave up. Nesterov had two sessions of two hours each.

Surikov and the face of a monk

The Hermit, Nesterov was rewritten about twenty times. And the reason for it... the rapture picture Vasily Surikov. Yes, it is admiration. Surikov was so pleased Nesterov created an image that he advised the artist to "add painting in the face of Hermit". Like, if the painting did become a genius. Nesterov added. As a result, lost the unique facial expression of the monk, which is so valued. Then rewrote it again and again until I returned to the staged version. Then in the course of Nesterov appeared saying: "I'm not a painter. I'm an artist!"


A thin tree in the left part of the picture – the special touch in many landscapes Nesterov. However, in other pictures he would prefer to write osinki (1, 2, 3). The tree on the painting "the Hermit" aims to show the fragility of life and its eternal newness and youth.

Time of the year

The landscape Nesterov, with a careless glance like spring: the early spring, when the snow is gone from the fields. However, the artist has depicted the fall. And bright the time of the year – Rowan branch with red berries.

Two Hermit

Nesterov liked it so much the image of the Hermit that he wrote two paintings, which dominates the face of the monk of the proud. The first picture he pictured at the knee and this painting is kept in the Russian Museum in St. Petersburg. Second, the main, the Hermit – in the Tretyakov gallery in Moscow.


For the painting "the Hermit" Pavel Tretyakov paid Mikhail Nesterov 500 rubles. The money the painter first went abroad, to Italy, where he stayed for about two months.

Author: Elena Siroid
I like15 To the selection26
About the artwork

Art form: Painting

Subject and objects: Landscape, Portrait

Style of art: Realism

Technique: Oil

Materials: Canvas

Date of creation: 1888

Size: 142.8×125 cm

Artwork in selections: 26 selections