** artists illustrating boys fashions: M.W. Nesterov Mikhail Vasilyevich Nesterov

Artists Illustrating Boys' Fashions: M.W. Nesterov (Russia, 1862-1942)

Figure 1.--This view of the Russian coyntryside shows a Russian boy in tradiotional dress facing death. we know little about the artist. The title of this work ws "Vision of Youth (Young?) Bartholomew" painted 1889-90. This is one of a series dedpicting importantb saints as children.

A British reader notes the work of M.W. Nesterov, a noted Russian artist. He painted some intraguing historical ans religious scenes. One scene set in the the 19th Century shows a boy wearing a Russian blouse in the countryside talking to a hooded figure. It seems that the boy is dreaming and in the dream he meets the spirit of death. This spirit will take the boy away to heaven. Despite this being a sombre theme I thought the boy's clothes were interesting as he appears to be in Russian clothes. He is not one of the more useful articts providing clothing depictions, but his images are intreaging.


Mikhail Vasilyevich Nesterov's father was a merchant.


Mikhail was born in the city of Ufa in the Urals (1862).


When he was about 12 years old, his parents brought him to Moscow where he cpold study at a technical college. While at the College, he wasnoted by K. Trutovsky, an artist and inspector of the Moscow School of Art. With Trutovsky's recommendation, Mikhail was able to enter the Moscow School of Painting and Sculpture (1876). The instructors there included Perov, Savrasov and Pryanishnikov. Next he studied at the St. Petersburg Academy of Art and was active in the studio of professor Pavel Tchistyakov (1881-84). Nesterov was involved in the Itinerants� Society of Traveling Exhibitions. This was a society that organized traveling exhibitions throughout Russia. Earlier art could only be viewd in the major cities.

Body of Work

Nesterov first worked in genre scenes, bith historic and every day comtemporry scenes. Nesterov by the 1890s was painting religious scenes, but with a very modern look. Many of his religious works went into important churches. While Nesterov is best known for his paintings, he also did mosacics and frescoes.

Children's Images

We note several of Nestorov's paintings which depict children. The ones we are failiae with are from his historical or religious paintings. We note "Vision to Youth Bartholomew" (1889-1890) shown here. It seems that the boy is dreaming and in the dream he meets the spirit of death. This spirit will take the boy away to heaven. Another important work is "Youth of Saint Sergey Radonezhsky" (1892-1897). There is also "Tzarevich Dmitry" (1899).


We are unsure just how accurate the clothing depictions. The boy here wears a Russian blouse.


Nesterov married Maria Ivanovna Martynovskaya. Unfortunately (1885), bit she died only 1 year later after giving birth to their daughter, Olga. It ws a great personal loss. It also greatly affected hispainting. He was later to write, "The death of Masha made me an artist." Nesterov believes taht his early work lacked emotion. The panting here done only a few years latr shows the inluence of his loss.

The Revolution

After the Revolution, Nesterov turned mostly to portraits and he did several of important individuals during the 1930s.


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Created: October 3, 2003
Last updated: 5:05 PM 9/6/2004