In Russia, the monumental painting of the 60–80s of the 19th century is experiencing a crisis, this was due to the interest of the creative intelligentsia to the people’s life and manifested in an unprecedented flowering of easel painting. Since the beginning of the 1890s the situation changed: there began the works in Vladimir Cathedral and St. Cyril’s Church in Kiev, the building of churches in Talashkino, Abramtsevo, the decoration of which was made by outstanding artists V. M. Vasnetsov, M. A. Vrubel, M. V. Nesterov, N. K. Rerih et al.
In Russia, vivid examples of monumental painting were considered Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow and St. Vladimir’s Cathedral in Kiev. The paintings in the Moscow church were carried out in 1860–1870s, those in Kiev — in 1885. Almost at the same time, the work on St Mary’s Cathedral polychrome in Krakow began.
The report examines the monumental painting of representatives of the era of “historicism” Jan Matejko and V. M. Vasnetsov, which become a sort of link between the 19th century and time of Secession — Symbolism and early modernism. As the critic S. K. Makovsky wrote: “Vasnetsov created a style. Even fragile and impracticable. [...] It is infinitely closer to people’s beauty, sweeter, more intimate, more truthful than „cock“ style, sung by Stasov”. Unfortunately, in the studies on creativity of Jan Matejko I have never met a phrase “mateykovsky style”, but he created it.