The image of the Grand Duke Alexander Nevsky is found quite often among the works of famous artists. In a sense, it was a state-orthodox cult of personality.
Peter 1 himself during the founding of St. Petersburg drew attention to the close location of the city with a memorable place where the Great Alexander once managed to defend the Swedes in the struggle for Russian lands. Thus, his name began to personify the desire to win over the enemy at all costs.
At the end of the 18th century, the image of Nevsky became the most revered saint in Russia. For many creators, it was considered an honor to depict the prince in his painting, except that Viktor Vasnetsov was no exception. He is often called the founder of the “Russian style”. In his work he focused on the image of the Russian soul of the Grand Duke. Nevsky is depicted as a true Slav with blond curly hair and a beard.
Drawing the silhouette of Alexander, he brought him to the fore to emphasize all the greatness and power of this person. Many consider this picture to be an appeal to traditional medieval icon painting, but Vasnetsov himself did not share a similar point of view.
Alexander Nevsky in the work of Vasnetsov is presented to his full height, where all the details of his image are clearly traced. Contemporaries spoke about the image as “about the incredible strength of spirit and love for the people, which comes from the image of the Grand Duke Nevsky.” In his work, Vasnetsov managed to convey the Orthodox spirit and moral popular foundations, which are viewed in the image of Nevsky.
Details such as the robe of the prince, a cape with images of Orthodox symbolism and a nimbus above his head are combined with the sword in his hands and determination in his view of the truth of the true hero of Russian history. Sketches of paintings are presented in the Vladimir Cathedral in Kiev, and the work itself is in the Tretyakov Gallery.