Art A-Z: N – Nesterov Mikhail

Mikhail Vasilievich Nesterov (Ufa, 1862 – Moscow, 1942) – painter.

Studied at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture and at the Academy of Arts in Saint-Petersburg.

Since 1896 – member of  the Society for Travelling Art Exhibitions (Peredvizhniki). 

Girls on the river bank

In 1890 – 1895, Nesterov together with V.Vasnetsov painted Vladimir Cathedral in Kiev. In 1894 – 1895, he worked on sketches of mosaics for the Church of the Savior on Blood in Saint-Petersburg.

The first half of Nesterov’s career was marked by interest for religion. He painted The Hermit (1886) after death of his wife, The Vision to the Youth Bartholomew (1889-1890) (see up), made painting for Marfo-Mariinskiy convent (1908-1911). He was inspired by ancient Russian religions painting, as well as contemporary religious writers and philosophers, including N.Leskov and L.Tolstoi.

Silence, 1903

Since mid-1920s, Nestetov paints portraits of his contemporaries – painters, scientists, etc.

Portrait of sculptor Vera Mukhina, 1940



Visit the Tretyakov Gallery to see Nesterov’s famous works.



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