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The stunning work of Mikhail Alexandrovich Vrubel "The Descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles" adorns the cylindrical vault of the Cyril Church, located in Kiev. The work belongs to the first works of the painter.
According to the Gospel, the Holy Spirit came to the apostles in the form of a dove. Tongues of flame emanating from the bird rested on their heads. From now on, the apostles began to speak all languages, which allowed them to spread the teachings of Jesus Christ throughout the world.
Like all gospel legends, Vrubel’s plot “The Descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles” had its own iconographic method, enshrined in a long tradition. The painter relentlessly followed this method. Most likely, the painter turned to the oldest biblical miniatures, but his characters are interpreted somewhat differently, you can feel the influence of a relatively modern school of painting.
The 12 apostles sit in a semicircle; therefore, they are literally repeating the semicircular church vault. In the center we see a figure in a dark blue robe. The Virgin is guessed in the image. The picture is dominated by a blue color palette: a bluish background and the pale blue robes of the apostles. The golden light emitted from the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove is especially prominent. If you look closely at the clothes of the apostles, you can replace the light areas that create an unusual glow effect. All the apostles are embraced by a general high spiritual uplift: someone is thoughtful, someone presses his hands to his chest, someone squeezes his hands tightly.