The iconographic images of Sergius of Radonezh are known to all, but his blessed way of life was depicted not only on icons. Artists also inspired the spiritual world of the saint. In particular, Mikhail Nesterov, one of the most famous Russian painters who fruitfully worked in the 19th and 20th centuries, painted a large number of images of church saints. However, the image of the Life of St. Sergius was of particular relevance to him.
At the very end of the 19th century, Mikhail Nesterov created the monumental triptych entitled “Works of St. Sergius”, describing the period of the life of the Saint together with the brethren. Masterfully combining the images of saints and magnificent landscapes, the artist on each part of the picture depicts different seasons.
In one picture, the Holy in everyday simple clothes is shown carrying a yoke with two buckets, on one of which is a carved cross. Here Nesterov shows the autumn nature – red drying meadows and fields. The central picture shows the sawing of a log. Sergius with his companion, another monk, dressed only in caskets.
The image of the saint is the personification of hard work, shows meekness and diligence in the construction of the monastery. The hot summer reigns in the background; there are mighty spruces and slender birches. The picture on the right shows the street of the monastery, covered with snow. Sergius, dressed in a black robe, stands thoughtfully on a narrow snow-covered path. The artist emphasizes the sad face of the Holy One against the background of the splendor of the Russian winter, the brilliant attire of wooden huts, the church with a bell tower and tall firs.