Along with Saint George on the first page, Alexander Nevskii frames the portfolio. Goncharova borrowed the principle of “framing” from lubok books. The two figures are essential in the understanding of Russia as a chosen and victorious nation. While the artist begins the series with a reference to Russia’s divine, yet apocalyptic, destiny, she confidently ends on the heroic image of victory.
Alexander Nevskii was prince of Novgorod, a city-state that controlled lands from the east of Estonia to the Ural Mountains. In the early 1240s he defended his homeland against Swedish, Estonian, and German invaders and saved medieval Rus’ from a devastating invasion from the north. His victory laid the ground for the development of Muscovite Russia. Since 1547 the Orthodox Church has venerated him as a saint.
animals; cities; royalty; wars; horses; swords; weapons
Link to share this object record: