THE HOLY EQUAL TO THE APOSTLES TSARINA HELEN. SKETCH OF THE ICONOSTASIS OF THE ALTAR OF THE VLADIMIR CATHEDRAL IN KIEV
The sketch was exhibited at the XIV periodic exhibition of paintings of the Moscow society of lovers of art, held in 1894–1895 at the Historical Museum.
In 1890 M.V.Nesterov first tried his hand at monumental painting when he started his work in the Vladimir Cathedral in Kiev. The ideologist of the interior decoration of the Cathedral was a historian of art and archaeologist A.V.Prakhov. He defined the main theme of paintings in the Cathedral as an understanding of the “history of the Russian faith”, which involved development of images related with the baptism of Prince Vladimir and Russia, as well as creation of a gallery of images of the Russian Saints and Ascetics of Orthodoxy. V.M.Vasnetsov was assigned the principal artist. Because of a huge amount of painting A.V.Prakhov invited other artists to help him. Among them was M.V.Nesterov, who joined the work in the Cathedral in its full swing, when V.M.Vasnetsov had already created many of the compositions.
M.V.Nesterov for a beginning was asked to paint the Saints Boris and Gleb on the pillars of the Central nave of the Cathedral after the sketches of V.M.Vasnetsov. After that M.V.Nesterov was commissioned to design decor of the Northern and the Southern chapels in the choir area where paintings and images of the iconostasis were made after his own sketches. The success of the painter allowed entrusting him making of iconostases for the altar and the deacon of the main altar, as well as the wall composition “Epiphany” in the baptistery of the Cathedral.
Work in the Vladimir Cathedral M.V.Nesterov completed in March of 1895.