By Rod Dreher
I came across that painting above earlier this week in the Russian State Museum. It stopped me in my tracks. The reproduction above, from the museum’s website, can’t do justice to the canvas itself. It’s titled “The Mother Of God Of Tenderness Towards Evil Hearts.” The artist is Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin, who painted it in 1915. It is said to be his response to the horrors of the First World War. It is related thematically to the traditional Russian icon of The Mother of God, Softener Of Evil Hearts.
I can’t really say why this particular image of the Virgin Mary is so moving to me. But it is. I brought back a print of it, and will have it framed.
Another Russian icon — not literally an icon, but iconic — is St. Basil’s Cathedral on Red Square. This is the image most people associate with Russia, and rightly so. It’s one of the greatest buildings in the world. It’s every bit as breathtaking in real life as in photos:
It’s called St. Basil’s Cathedral, though its official name has to do with the Mother of God. Tsar Ivan the Terrible ordered it built to commemorate his victories in wars. St. …read more
Source:: The American Conservative