Russian artist Ivan Kramskoi painted this profoundly cold and lonely version of Christ in the Wilderness
in 1872. Jesus sits in solitude on a cold boulder as the dawn begins to break. His folded hands and pensive expression suggest He's just passed the night in prayer and fasting. It's interesting to see that a garment wraps His arms, suggesting a chilly outdoor temperature, while His feet remain bare — they must be freezing!
The cold rocks and cooler colors of the entire composition ideally helps place the viewer into a similar state of isolation, penance and prayer. Everything in the artwork enables us to focus more on Our Lord and His suffering for mankind. But not to end in despair, we see a bit of color in the distant sunrise. The grace of God, as the dawning of the day, will come again to warm the soul.
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