Nesterov was well acquainted with the circle of philosophers. In 1910, he attended religious and philosophical meetings of the V.S. Solovyov. Also, the artist often performed church paintings. Before the Soviet period, religious paintings were an important part of his work.
Nesterov painted a series of paintings dedicated to the life of St. Sergius of Radonezh. Sergius of Radonezh, in the Bartholomew world, was the founder of the Trinity-Sergius Monastery in Sergiev Posad, and was also his abbot. Russian religious philosophers considered the Trinity-Sergius Monastery, the site of the focus of Russian spirituality.
The best work, which was dedicated to an outstanding figure in the Orthodox Church, was recognized as the painting Vision to the youth Bartholomew. ” The figurine of a young shepherdess Nesterov painted from nature. A girl from the village of Komyakino posed for him.
When the artist saw a girl of about 9 years old, short-haired, with big, surprised, blue eyes, a little sickly look, he immediately realized that this was a find for his youth Bartholomew. Also in the village of Abramtsevo, Nesterov painted a landscape for his painting.
Creating the appearance of a wonderful vision, the artist sought to convey as much historical authenticity as possible. In other words, create an image that would be perceived as a real hero, a real youth Bartholomew. And he did it thanks to the landscape and the convincing figures of the lad.
There is nothing mysterious in the landscape itself. In the background you can even see a garden with cabbage. The figure of a monk is as close as possible to the trunk of an old oak tree, in order to focus all our attention on the boy. By facial expression and reverent pose, one can understand that a miracle happens in the soul of a young man.
Nesterov was a member of the local Abramtsevo circle, which was located on the estate of the philanthropist Mamontov. There he learned a lot about history, everyday life and the old culture of ancient Russia.